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Rangers Needing Good Hamels More Than Ever

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Cole Hamels of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the first inning at O.co Coliseum Sept. 24. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    The last eight times Cole Hamels has taken the mound for the Texas Rangers, they've won that game.

    On Tuesday night, he takes the hill again and more so than ever, the Rangers need to continue that streak.

    Texas saw its lead in the AL West shrink to 1 1/2 games over Houston on Monday night and saw its first three-game losing streak since the beginning of August.

    Now, it's up to Hamels to break that and reduce the Rangers' magic number to clinch the West, which currently sits at 5, where it's been since Friday.

    Hamels is 5-1 with a 3.41 ERA in his 10 starts with the Rangers, and in the current eight-game Rangers win streak in Hamels starts, he's allowed four runs once and less than that every other time. If he does that Tuesday night, the Rangers should be in business given how the offense has been producing lately and the fact they aren't facing a top-notch pitcher for the first time in three games on Tuesday night.

    Hamels was brought on board precisely for games like Tuesday night's, it just was done with the assumption those games wouldn't start coming until 2016.