Left-hander Cole Hamels last two starts have been two of his best this season. He allowed a combined two runs on five hits and a walk over 14 1/3 innings. Hamels will try to make it three in a row Saturday night in the Rangers’ Game 2 against the Royals and left-hander Danny Duffy (5-5, 3.76 ERA). Hamels (4-0, 3.51) missed two months with a right oblique strain.
Hamels has 12 strikeouts combined in the two outings, a marked improvement over the 16 strikeouts he had in his first six starts.
“Very encouraged, Manager Jeff Banister said. “[Hamels’ success is] based on repeatability and execution, being able to throw what he wants to where he wants to.”
Hamels has only thrown more than 100 pitches in one of his eight starts. Banister said this was by design, especially after coming back from the injury, with hopes of keeping Hamels fresh for the second half.
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“That was one of the reasons why I talked about being strict about not going over 100 [pitches] before the All-Star break. So that if we need to, and he feels up to it, we can push him.”