By Anthony Andro, The Sports Xchange
ARLINGTON, Texas — Cole Hamels’ new look was a rousing success.
The left-hander, who shaved his beard and showed off a new mustache, allowed just three singles in 7 2/3 innings as the Texas Rangers pounded the Los Angeles Angels 10-0 on Friday night.
The victory gave the Rangers consecutive wins for the first time since June 24-25 and they reached double figures in runs for just the second time since June 23.
The Angels have dropped four of their last five games and six of eight.
Hamels (4-0) matched his season high with six strikeouts and has posted 13 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings, the longest streak by a Texas starter this season.
He got all the run support he’d need in the first when Texas scored three times off Ricky Nolasco (4-10), which was more than enough for Hamels and two relievers as the Rangers notched their fourth shutout of the season.
“I was just being aggressive in the strike zone,” Hamels said. “That’s something I was really trying to focus on in the last start. I’m still working on it but at the same time if I can still make hitters uncomfortable and try to get the count in my favor, throw a lot of pitches that might not be strikes but look like strikes and get some good swings to be my advantage, it definitely eases everything.”
So does a bunch of offensive support, which Texas had in winning by double digits for the second time this year.
Rougned Odor’s RBI single gave Texas its first run and Jonathan Lucroy followed with a two-run double to left.
Nolasco, who hadn’t allowed a run in his last two starts, didn’t make it out of the second inning as the Rangers tacked on five more runs to build an 8-0 lead.
Nomar Mazara’s RBI single increased the Texas lead to 4-0 before Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer to left. Odor followed with a solo homer to right to give Texas its first back-to-back homers on the season.
That ended the night for Nolasco. He was charged with eight runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two.
“It was a pretty terrible game,” Nolasco said. “I put us in a huge hole, just a bad game. All around I wasn’t hitting any of my spots. I have to shake it off and be ready for the next one. It’s just one start. You say it’s just one of those days. Shake it off and keep going forward.”
It didn’t help that the Angels weren’t able to avoid the big inning after getting two outs. Texas scored all eight of its runs off Nolasco with two outs in the inning. He retired the first two batters in the bottom of the first before Mazara got the Texas offense going with a walk. It was downhill for him and the Angels from there.
“Two quick outs in the first inning, then those guys backed up hit after hit,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. “Then in the just, just begging behind guys and then, when he (Nolasco) did get ahead, just didn’t put guys away. His stuff wasn’t as crisp today. Those guys had a good offensive day. We’ve got to turn the page on it.”
Texas finished with 12 hits, including two from Beltre. His homer was part of a 2-for-4 night and the three RBIs moved him past Mike Schmidt and into a tie with George Brett for 32nd on the all-time list with 1,596.
“I’m seeing the ball OK,” Beltre said. “It’s a work in progress. Obviously, I could be better. I’m surprised I’m able to catch those guys. I’m glad it happened obviously. It means that I’ve been playing for a long time. That’s it.”
Odor also had three hits and two RBIs. Mazara blasted a two-run homer to right-center in the sixth inning and finished with two hits, three RBIs and three runs scored. Delino DeShields also had two hits.
Los Angeles didn’t have a runner reach second base in the game. Albert Pujols singled twice and accounted for two of his team’s three hits as the Angels were shut out for the eighth time this season, with three of those coming in the last 10 games.