For the second night in a row, a Minnesota Twins starter dug a hole in the first inning. For the second night in a row, a starter tossed a complete game at Target Field.
Unfortunately for the Twins, the parallels stop in between those two sentences. One night after Bartolo Colon dug an early 2-0 hole and pulled himself out of it in a complete-game win, Rangers stud lefty Cole Hamels continued his July roll into August as he scattered four hits and just one unearned run in a 4-1 win over the Twins on Saturday evening.
It was the 16th complete game of Hamels’ career, and his second in a Rangers uniform.
Hamels had his way with a much-maligned offense that was without the benefit of the wrist-and-rest combo of Miguel Sano and Joe Mauer, respectively. Manager Paul Molitor said after the game that Sano was not available and that his status will be reevaluated in advance of Sunday’s series finale -- a game the Twins must win to salvage the set.
Despite striking out just five Twins on the night, Hamels got 14 swinging strikes overall — including nine on his trademark changeup. On his fifth-inning strikeout of Eddie Rosario, Hamels threw a first-pitch ball, then backed it up with three swinging strikes — all on changeups — to record the first out of the inning.
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