Cole Hamels appeared to be rolling to another stellar outing for his new team — his third start in a month against the Seattle Mariners.
Then came the third inning.
Hamels had allowed two runners to reach and gotten no outs when Jesus Sucre lined a shot right back at the mound that appeared to catch Hamels flush in the jaw as he stumbled to the ground and did a backward roll before popping back up to his feet.
Hamels was checked out by the medical staff, which he quickly tried to shoo away, insisting he was fine. Replays showed the ball glance off his glove and then squarely into his left shoulder before glancing off his jaw.
"Luckily enough it hit the muscle that I guess I have on me," Hamels told reporters in postgame. "It absorbed everything it could. I'm sure I'll have a nice bruise in the next couple days."
After that, Hamels got out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam and allowed just one run in the process. Later in the game, he was touched up again and eventually finished after seven innings while allowing four runs on eight hits. He struck out three and walked one.
It wasn't Hamels' finest outing, but it was one that showed just how much of a gamer he is. He was good enough to give his team a win and move them to within one game of the AL West lead.