EditorsNote: Edits in body, to headline
Cole Hamels threw six shutout innings, and the Texas Rangers contributed to the Houston Astros’ ongoing scoring difficulties at home with a 1-0 victory on Friday at Minute Maid Park.
Hamels (2-4) had been winless over his six previous starts yet befuddled the Astros, allowing just one hit while recording five strikeouts. Hamels walked three batters and hit two more with pitches, but Houston failed to build a consistent threat, continuing a recent theme.
Hamels and three relievers combined on a one-hitter.
The Astros suffered their fourth shutout loss of the season, with each coming at home. Houston entered the weekend averaging just 3.8 runs per game at Minute Maid Park, more than two runs below their robust scoring average on the road, where the Astros are 14-6.
Hamels surrendered his lone hit to designated hitter Evan Gattis leading off the fifth inning. He recovered to retire Josh Reddick, Jake Marisnick and Jose Altuve in order to preserve the scoreless tie, and Hamels got Alex Bregman to hit into an inning-ending double play in the sixth.
Astros right-hander Justin Verlander (4-2) carried a shutout into the seventh but allowed a leadoff double to Nomar Mazara and then walked Adrian Beltre and Joey Gallo.
Right-hander Chris Devenski came on to face Jurickson Profar, who hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Mazara.
Verlander allowed one run on three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Over his last two home starts, Verlander has surrendered one run on six hits and two walks with 21 strikeouts over 14 innings. He has a no-decision and a loss in those appearances.
Houston finished 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven. Center fielder George Springer was hit in the left elbow by a Hamels pitch in the third inning. He was diagnosed with a contusion and is listed as day-to-day.
Left-hander Jake Diekman and righties Jose Leclerc and Keone Kela completed the one-hit shutout for the Rangers. Kela notched his eighth save, pitching around a one-out walk to Bregman in the ninth.
—Field Level Media