MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Cole Hamels threw the 16th complete game of his career — his first in nearly two years — and turned in his most efficient start of the season to lead the Texas Rangers past the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Saturday night.
With Hamels dominating on the mound, Nomar Mazara’s first-inning, two-run homer off Kyle Gibson (6-9) was all the offense Texas needed to beat the Twins.
In his first complete game since Oct. 4, 2015, Hamels (6-1) scattered four hits and allowed only four batters to reach base. The Twins’ only run against him was unearned.
Hamels entered the game with a 6.35 career ERA against Minnesota, the highest of any opponent with at least six starts, but breezed through the lineup using 96 pitches to pick up his third career win against the Twins.
With Elvis Andrus on base, the Rangers grabbed the lead for good only three batters in when Mazara sent the first pitch he saw from Gibson an estimated 407 feet into the bullpen. Mike Napoli came around to score after a leadoff walk in the second, and Robinson Chirinos added an RBI single in the ninth.
Making his first major league start since being sent to the minors in late July, Gibson was otherwise solid for the Twins, allowing seven hits and two walks while striking out four over 5 1/3 innings.
Minnesota’s run came in the fifth after Byron Buxton singled, stole second and advanced to third on a bad throw from Chirinos at the plate. He scored on Ehire Adiranza’s groundout.
Brian Dozier reached base twice against Hamels on a single and walk. Eduardo Escobar singled in the fourth but was thrown out trying to reach second. Jorge Polanco had a leadoff double in the ninth.
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