Jeff Banister on four-game win streak
A four-game win streak may not seem like much but for the 2018 Texas Rangers — and currently across the majors — it's a zenith. Rejoice, Rangers fans, the Astros' 12-game win streak came to end end Tuesday night. Your Rangers rule the win-streak world at the moment.
Texas won its fourth consecutive game as Cole Hamels cruised to a 4-1 win over the Royals. Hamels allowed just one unearned run on four hits and struck out seven in seven innings. He won for the first time since May 22.
Hamels has been great at Kauffman Stadium. He's allowed two unearned runs in three starts (20 innings), which is the most innings without an earned run by any pitcher in the 46-year of the ballpark.
Five thoughts from Tuesday's 4-1 win:
1. Hyphenated history — Austin Bibens-Dirkx is starting Wednesday's finale against the Royals in place of the demoted Yohander Mendez. There is a chance his catcher could by Kiner-Falefa. Kiner was scheduled to catch Mendez, a pitcher he has caught multiple times in the minor leagues. Manager Jeff Banister was noncommittal before Tuesday's game. If it happens, it could be the first hyphenated battery mates in major league history. Set your VCRs … er, or your DVRs. Hopefully, we all witness something historic.
2. IKF is HOT — Rookie Isiah Kiner-Falefa had three hits, including two doubles, and now has eight hits in his past five starts. He's also scored six runs and driven in four runs in the stretch.
3. Speaking of hot — Nomar Mazara had three hits Tuesday and is 8 for 14 in his past three games.
4. Bullish bullpen — Jake Diekman and Keone Kela combined for two perfect innings. Kela earned his 17th save in 17 chances. It's the most without a blown save in the big leagues in 2018. The only longer saves streak to start a season for the Rangers was Francisco Cordero's 19 saves in 2004. The Texas bullpen has thrown five perfect innings against the Royals, including two each by Diekman and Kela.
5. Off the Deck — Right-handed pitcher Deck McGuire was traded to the Angels for cash or a player to be named later. McGuire was designated for assignment on Monday. Texas acquired him off of waivers from the Blue Jays on Friday and optioned to Triple-A Round Rock. He allowed five runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief on Saturday against Fresno.