Beltre's blasts back Hamels' heat in victory

Beltre's blasts back Hamels' heat in victory

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels had a no-hitter for 5 2/3 innings but had to settle for a 6-2 victory over the Rays on Friday night at Tropicana Field. Adrian Beltre hit two home runs for the 30th time in his career, and the Rangers have now won four straight.

Hamels was trying for the first Rangers no-hitter since 1994 and the second of his career. Instead, he allowed one run on three hits over 7 1/3 innings while walking two and striking out 10. It's the third time this season Hamels has struck out 10-plus batters in a game.

"He seemed to be in command from the beginning," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "The fastball, changeup, curve mix seemed to keep them off-balance."

Hamels dominates Rays in win

Hamels is now 9-2 with a 1.91 ERA in 14 starts on the road. That's currently the lowest road ERA by a Rangers pitcher in club history. The record is 1.95, set by Bert Blyleven in 1977.

The Rays had a four-game winning streak snapped, but they avoided being shut out for the 10th time this season when Steven Souza Jr. hit a home run to lead off the eighth. Starter Matt Andriese took the loss, allowing five runs in 5 1/3 innings. The Rays had allowed six runs in their previous four games prior to Friday's loss.

Souza Jr.'s solo home run

"Pretty disappointing game, to say the least," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We got out-pitched. We got out-hit, out-defended. They didn't make any mental mistakes. We made a handful. Pretty disappointing effort."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Beltre belts two more: Beltre hit his 20th home run in the fifth inning to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead. It's the 12th time he has hit 20-plus home runs in a season. That's tied for third most by a third baseman with Chipper Jones. Eddie Mathews had 14 and Mike Schmidt had 13. Beltre followed with another home run in the seventh inning, giving him 434 for his career. That ties him with former Rangers Juan Gonzalez and Andruw Jones for 45th all-time.

"Just a great night from our captain," Banister said. "The two home runs were huge. He has been doing that for us for quite awhile."

Losing gas: Andriese threw arguably his four best innings of the year as he shut down the Rangers early to extend Tampa Bay's scoreless pitching streak to 18 innings. But once Mitch Moreland led off the fifth inning with a home run, things started to unravel. He allowed an RBI single to Ian Desmond later in the inning, and then a blast to Beltre to start off the sixth. When two more batters reached on walks, Andriese's night was done. Since taking his first loss of the season on June 25, Andriese is 0-5 with a 4.61 ERA.

Moreland's solo home run

"I kind of hit a wall there," Andriese said. "I just was out there grinding it out. Didn't feel the best. Just was out there, put it to work."

Andrus' daring dash: Elvis Andrus, after a one-out walk in the fifth, scored the Rangers' second run with aggressive baserunning. With two outs, Desmond bounced a single up the middle and Andrus went to third. Center fielder Mikie Mahtook saw he had no play at third, so he lobbed the ball into second. Andrus kept going and beat the relay throw from Tim Beckham with a head-first slide.

Desmond's RBI single

"That's Elvis," Banister said. "It created a little separation on the scoreboard and allowed our hitters to drop anchor and go to work." More >

It only takes one: Hamels was 10 outs from a no-hitter when Corey Dickerson ripped a single up the middle with two outs in the sixth inning. Dickerson had entered the game in the fourth inning. It didn't do much to change the Rays' favor, though. Evan Longoria struck out to end the inning in the next at-bat.

Dickerson gets Rays' first hit

"He was spotting the fastball," Cash said of Hamels. "The curveball was really good. Cole Hamels has kind of built his career on a fastball-changeup. And the changeup is still very good, but he had the curveball working really well. Got a lot of swing and misses at the bottom of the zone." More >

QUOTABLE
"The play in center field was all on me. It was one of those things where he just, he got me. I got to the ball, and he wasn't at third base yet. I didn't throw the ball in as hard as I should have. He got me. He baited me into it. I lobbed it to Beckham at second, and he took the extra base. That won't ever happen again. That's not a good feeling, to have that happen to you." -- Mahtook, on letting Andrus score on a single from first base 

Statcast: Andrus' baserunning

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Souza Jr.'s eighth-inning home run traveled 459 feet, per Statcast™. That was the second-longest home run hit by a Rays player this season. Only 34 MLB home runs have traveled farther this season.

Statcast: Souza Jr.'s 459-ft HR

• Beltre had four hits and two home runs. It's the second time this season he has accomplished that. The only other Major League player who has two or more such games is Kris Bryant of the Cubs. He has three.

WHAT'S NEXT
Rangers: Right-hander A.J. Griffin pitches against the Rays at 5:10 p.m. CT Saturday at Tropicana Field. He is 2-1 with a 5.53 ERA in his last five starts.

Rays: Right-hander Jake Odorizzi takes the mound for the Rays with first pitch scheduled for 6:10 p.m. ET. Odorizzi is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA in three career starts against the Rangers.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.