NEW YORK (AP) — Cole Hamels and the rollin’ Texas Rangers are making winning look easy.
Hamels breezed through seven shutout innings to win his fourth consecutive start, Adrian Beltre homered and drove in three runs, and Texas trounced the New York Yankees 7-1 on Tuesday night.
"Just a masterful job by Cole," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We know that if we can get him a lead, he pitches very well from in front. He controls the game."
One night after Texas rallied to win at 2:44 a.m. following a 3 1/2-hour rain delay in the ninth inning, the Rangers again played with plenty of spunk and energy. They’ve won four in a row, 12 of 14 and 20 of 25, improving the American League’s top record to 51-27 with their eighth straight victory away from home.
"We don’t need the superstardom," Hamels said. "We’re very goal-oriented, we’re very focused and we’re very balanced."
Yankees slugger Carlos Beltran left in the first with a tight right hamstring. He had an MRI that was "clean" and is day to day, manager Joe Girardi said.
"This homestand has not went the way we wanted it so far and we need to turn it around," Girardi said following his team’s third straight defeat.
Hamels (9-1) yielded six harmless singles and struck out seven, winning his ninth consecutive decision on the road dating to last August. He is 16-2 since getting traded from Philadelphia to Texas last summer and has already compiled excellent credentials for this year’s All-Star Game, to be played two weeks from Tuesday in his San Diego hometown.
"It’s always been a goal from the first moment that I heard that San Diego was going to have it," he said.
Hamels threw only 86 pitches and beat the Yankees for the first time in five career tries — including the 2009 World Series. He has a 0.65 ERA in his last four outings, and his recent dominance has been particularly important for the Rangers with rotation mates Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and Yu Darvish on the disabled list.
In a matchup of accomplished left-handers, CC Sabathia (5-5) pitched into the eighth inning for the first time in a year — but that’s where it all fell apart for him. Trailing 2-0, he nicked leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo on the hand with a pitch and was unable to corral Ian Desmond’s comebacker, which went for an infield single.
Beltre’s bad-hop RBI single got past third baseman Chase Headley, and Prince Fielder chased Sabathia with a run-scoring double that made it 4-0.
"Just a frustrating night," Sabathia said. "If I can either make the play or get out of the way, I have a double play right there."
Pinch hitter Nomar Mazara, Rougned Odor and Jurickson Profar each added an RBI single against Anthony Swarzak to cap a five-run outburst that broke the game open. Texas has scored 39 runs in its last five games.
"We should have been out of that inning with no runs," Girardi said.
Sabathia, who twice rolled his right ankle during his previous start, was charged with six runs and eight hits in seven-plus innings.
Beltre, who got the go-ahead hit around 2:30 a.m. in the series opener, lofted a two-run homer in the first to the short porch in right field. Desmond and Beltre both finished with three hits.
"Amazing amount of energy," Hamels said. "He really shows you why he loves this game and why you should love the game of baseball. He’s a tremendous talent and one of the best leaders I’ve ever been around."
GET BACK THERE
Odor got a rare order in the eighth — he twice was told to get back in the on-deck circle by plate umpire Paul Nauert. Odor was near the backstop, drifting far from the dugout, as Mazara batted. Odor had a playful smile as he moved back to his proper place.
Hamels is 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA in eight starts away from home this season. … Texas has won five straight games at Yankee Stadium for the first time. … The Rangers have won 15 of their last 18 road games.
Rangers: Darvish (shoulder discomfort) is scheduled to throw about 45 pitches in a three-inning simulated game Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. … RHP Keone Kela (elbow impingement) is headed to Triple-A Round Rock to throw a simulated inning Thursday. If that goes well, his next step could be a minor league rehab assignment.
Yankees: Beltran pulled a line drive into the left-field corner his first time up and broke well out of the batter’s box. But he pulled up with a single after rounding first and went back to the bag even when the ball initially eluded left fielder Ryan Rua. Rob Refsnyder ran for Beltran and replaced him in right field as well.
Rangers RHP Nick Martinez (1-1, 5.54 ERA) faces RHP Masahiro Tanaka (5-2, 3.01) in the third game of the four-game series Wednesday night. The 25-year-old Martinez went to college in the Bronx at nearby Fordham and is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two starts at Yankee Stadium.