CHICAGO (AP) – Cole Hamels and a high-scoring offense helped the Texas Rangers avoid their bullpen woes for a day.
Hamels overcame a shaky start and the Rangers hit three home runs Saturday in a 10-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Hamels (3-0) allowed two runs and two hits while striking out six in 6 2/3 innings for his first win since April 26.
“We needed for somebody to go out and put a foot down and give us a good start,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
Hamels retired 19 straight after giving up a double and a homer and hitting a batter with a pitch in the first inning of his second start since returning from a strained right oblique.
“With putting us down early, I knew if I just kind of plugged away inning after inning, our team is going to put up some runs eventually,” Hamels said. “We were able to do that.”
Elvis Andrus, Mike Napoli and Rougned Odor homered for the Rangers, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
White Sox starter Derek Holland (5-8) didn’t fare well in his first game against his former team. Holland, who spent his first eight seasons with the Rangers and was on their 2010 and 2011 AL championship squads, allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings. He is 1-5 in his last seven starts.
“They were chirping me,” Holland said. “I want to say it was (Adrian) Beltre who said, ‘Throw that (pitch) again,’ and I did. I threw him pretty much the same pitch and struck him out and made sure I made some (verbal) contact with him.
“I wish the results had been a little different, but it was good to see those guys and battle against them.”
Andrus’ 11th home run followed Delino DeShields’ RBI double to put Texas ahead in a three-run fifth. Andrus’ homer sailed just beyond left fielder Melky Cabrera’s glove.
“When I saw him going back, back, I just kind of was blowing that ball, too,” Andrus said.
Napoli smacked his 15th home run in the sixth.
Hamels struck out six and walked none.
“He did a real nice job,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He attacked the strike zone and mixed his pitches.”
The left-hander was sharper than in his previous start, when he allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings against Cleveland after missing two months.
“I just didn’t hang any pitches,” Hamels said about his first-inning adjustments.
Left-hander Alex Claudio replaced Hamels and allowed a two-run double in the seventh before finishing up.
Odor hit his 14th home run and Nomar Mazara had a three-run triple in the Rangers’ four-run eighth.
The White Sox have lost six of nine.
The Rangers, who lead the AL with 16 blown saves, plan to try a closer-by-committee approach until further notice. Banister announced the decision one day after his team squandered a two-run lead in the ninth inning of an 8-7 loss to the White Sox.
Claudio and right-handers Matt Bush, Jose Leclerc and Keone Kela are in the mix to close games. Bush had assumed the role lately, but he gave up three runs in the ninth inning Friday for his fifth blown save. Kela is 4-1 with a 2.64 ERA but dealing with soreness in his right biceps.
“We’ve been inconsistent, so we’ve got to find what our best recipe is for getting the 27th out,” Banister said.
A NEW STREAK?
Chicago slugger Jose Abreu homered for the second straight home game after hitting his first 13 home runs on the road to set a club record. He was homerless over 41 home games dating to Sept. 15.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (broken right thumb) is expected to come off the disabled list and start Monday against Boston.
White Sox: RF Avisail Garcia (left knee inflammation) was out of the lineup for the third straight game. He said he’s feeling better and hopes to play as soon as Sunday. . RHP Miguel Gonzalez (shoulder inflammation) and INF Tyler Saladino (back spasms) could soon begin rehab assignments.
Rangers RHP Tyson Ross (1-1, 6.14 ERA) makes his fourth start Sunday since having surgery in October for thoracic outlet syndrome. White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (4-8, 4.37) is 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA in his last five starts.
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