When the Texas Rangers acquired Cole Hamels in a mega-deal at the deadline, there was a pretty big voice out there suggesting the Rangers weren't getting a true ace, just a really good No. 2 starter.
While that might prove to be true, Hamels has done exactly what aces are supposed to do since being acquired at the trade deadline. In ace fashion, the Rangers simply don't lose games Hamels starts.
He's now 5-1 with the Rangers after earning the victory on Thursday to move the Rangers into a 3 1/2-game lead over the Astros in the AL West, assuring themselves of leaving Houston on Sunday with first place in hand.
Hamels wasn't dominant like he was in his previous start, when he struck out 12 Mariners and walked none. Instead, he pitched to contact against the A's and induced four double-play balls to get through six innings in 87 pitches and allowed just one unearned run.
The Rangers have no won eight straight starts from Hamels after they lost his first two in a Rangers uniform, and in that eight-game span, Hamels is 5-0 with a 2.78 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 55 innings.