ARLINGTON -- Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels got smacked in the left knee by Jose Altuve's hard grounder in the fourth inning of a 6-4 win over the Astros on Friday night. Hamels was able to recover to complete seven shutout innings, but it was the reason why he was taken out after 98 pitches and a six-run lead.
"The knee started tightening up on him," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It was pretty sore. I don't think the soreness went away."
Altuve's grounder went for an infield single, the first hit off Hamels. He has now thrown 11 consecutive innings without giving up a run and 18 without an earned run.
"Obviously I'm not a big muscle mass guy," Hamels said. "If you get hit in the leg, there is not a lot of muscle there. You get hit on the bone, you are going to get a numbing sensation and you've got to walk it off."
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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.