Hamels Buckles Down, Outduels King Felix

After two innings in Monday's season opener, Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels hadn't given up much, but it was enough to put the Rangers in a hole.

At that point, he'd allowed just two hits, but both of them left the yard and put the Rangers in a quick 2-0 hole.

From that point, however, the 32-year-old lefty showed why he's an ace as he ended up outdueling Felix Hernandez despite the fact his offense got just one hit off King Felix. Hamels threw 104 pitches over seven innings, allowed four hits, just the two runs and fanned eight.

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Most impressive, perhaps, was the fact that his seventh and final inning was perhaps his toughest as he had runners on first and second base with just one out before escaping with no harm done and handing it over to his dominant bullpen.

Midway through Monday's game, it appeared the Rangers were on their way to falling victim to an Opening Day no-hitter at the hands of one of the best pitchers in the game. Then, the Rangers' starter proved to be better.

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