If Cole Hamels was trying to make a statement as to who might be the best starting pitcher available by trade this summer, he delivered a strong one on Tuesday night at Globe Life Park.
Hamels did so against a team that has both a powerful lineup and a potential need for starting pitching at some point this season, holding the Yankees to two runs on four hits through seven innings in pitching the Rangers to a 6-4 victory.
Home runs by Jurickson Profar and Ronald Guzman helped Hamels win his second straight start. He is 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA in 10 starts this season and 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last five. If he keeps this up, he is going to be a desirable target for teams looking to upgrade their rotation this summer if the Rangers choose to go in that direction.
"It's May," Hamels said. "There's a lot of baseball, a lot of things could happen. I have a job to do, and it's to win here. This is where I've wanted to be, I've got a lot of young guys that definitely need me to try to be more of a leader and teach them kind of the facets of the game, and that's kind of what my focus is right now, to win for these guys and win for this team and this organization and these fans."
Hamels was scratched from his last start because of stiffness in his neck, but he looked strong physically through 100 pitches (63 for strikes). He walked two and struck out seven; the two runs he allowed scored on solo home runs by Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar.
"He was fresh, felt good," manager Jeff Banister said. "Probably the best mix of pitches we have seen from him all year. Kept the hitters off-balance. They didn't get any clean swings other than a couple of home runs. Solid game all around."