The Rangers made a big, and correct, decision last week to push Cole Hamels back a day from his scheduled Sunday start against Oakland to start Monday's opener of a four-game set at home against first-place Houston.
In Hamels' place on Sunday, the Rangers trotted out rookie pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez, and he did exactly what the Rangers wanted him to do.
Gonzalez wasn't perfect. He lasted 5 1/3 innings but allowed just two hits and three walks. He allowed three runs but only one was earned. He fanned two batters on 91 pitches. It was a big game because a team in Texas' position can't afford to be losing series to a last-place team, and in Sunday's rubber game he did enough to earn a win after the Rangers put up 12 runs.
Gonzalez, the Rangers' 23-year-old righty, is now 3-5 with a 4.03 ERA, including one complete-game shutout in the midst of his first four career starts, which were all great. If all goes as planned for Texas, that was Gonzalez's last start of the season, and it was a good one in a pretty big spot.