Hamels outduels Zimmermann as Rangers beat Tigers

May 6, 2016

DETROIT (AP) -- Cole Hamels and the Texas Rangers brought Jordan Zimmermann's unbeaten start to an end.

Hamels held Detroit to one hit in seven scoreless innings, and the Rangers became the first team this season to beat Zimmermann when they topped the Tigers 5-1 on Friday night. Both clubs came in with three-game losing streaks, each hoping its standout on the mound could rectify that.

Hamels was up to the challenge.

"This is why we have him. This is why he's part of this ballclub," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "He's our ace. He's the guy that we look to to be that stopper as a starter."


Hamels (4-0) allowed a bloop single to right by Ian Kinsler -- the first batter he faced -- and that was Detroit's only hit until Kinsler doubled to lead off the bottom of the ninth. The Tigers managed a couple walks off Hamels, but he struck out nine and won his 11th straight decision. He hasn't lost since Aug. 7.

"Everything that I was trying to establish in my bullpen during the week, I was able to then bring it out there," Hamels said.

Zimmermann (5-1) allowed two runs in the second -- after giving up only two earned runs all season prior to that. He also allowed a solo homer to Rougned Odor in the fifth, and by the end of the night, his ERA had doubled from 0.55 to 1.10.

Zimmermann breezed through the first five Texas hitters, but the Rangers scored twice with two outs in the second. Mitch Moreland singled and scored on a double by Elvis Andrus, and Bobby Wilson added an RBI single.

Odor's drive to right in the fifth landed near the back of the lower level of seats. His fifth homer of the year made it 3-0.

"I made one mistake, and that was the pitch to Odor," Zimmermann said. "Even Wilson's RBI single was a curve that was going to bounce."

Odor added a two-run double in the ninth off reliever Justin Wilson, capping a three-hit night.

J.D. Martinez was given the night off for the Tigers, and Detroit's home fans had little to cheer about. They did give Tigers catcher James McCann a nice hand in the fourth, when he went tumbling head first over the railing into a camera well next to the Detroit dugout.

McCann was trying unsuccessfully to catch a foul popup. He looked fine after the acrobatic fall and stayed in the game.

Zimmermann allowed three runs and seven hits in eight innings.


Wilson was traded from Texas to Detroit in March, and after playing five games for the Tigers, he was dealt back to the Rangers earlier this week for minor league pitcher Chad Bell.

He was catching for Texas on Friday, and in addition to guiding Hamels through his gem, Wilson also came through with a couple singles.

"I want to beat those guys now. I was cheering for them a few days ago, but now I want to win here," Wilson said. "It was good to see those guys. They were good to me. But like I said, it's about winning here now."


Rangers: OF Shin-Soo Choo (right calf strain) took batting practice Thursday and also ran the bases.

Tigers: RHP Shane Greene (right middle finger blister) may have his return delayed after his finger started bleeding when he threw Thursday.


Rangers: A.J. Griffin (3-0) takes the mound on Saturday against the Tigers. Opponents are hitting .180 off him this season.

Tigers: Mike Pelfrey (0-4) tries again for his first win since signing with Detroit in the offseason.