CHICAGO (AP) — Cole Hamels pitched eight dominant innings in his first game at Wrigley Field since throwing a no-hitter at the famed ballpark a year ago, and the Texas Rangers stopped a four-game slide by topping the Chicago Cubs 4-1 Sunday.
Hamels (10-2) struck out his first six batters. He fanned seven overall and gave up just an unearned run on four hits.
Last summer, the lefty threw a no-hitter and struck out 13 at Wrigley in his final start for Philadelphia. He was then traded to the Rangers.
Sam Dyson struck out three in the ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances.
Ian Desmond homered and Robinson Chirinos drove in two runs as Texas avoided a three-game sweep in the matchup of division leaders. The Cubs had won three in a row.
John Lackey (7-6) allowed four runs and six hits in eight innings as his winless streak reached seven starts. He is 14-16 in 41 starts against Texas, the team he’s faced most often in his career.
Hamels fanned the side in the first two innings. The streak ended when Matt Szczur popped out and Albert Almora Jr. reached on third baseman Adrian Beltre’s error in the third. Javier Baez doubled home a run.
Elvis Andrus’ RBI single and Chirinos’ sacrifice fly put the Rangers ahead in the second. Almora made a leaping catch in center field to rob Chirinos of extra bases.
Chirinos hit an RBI double after Lackey walked the first two batters in the fourth.
Desmond led off the eighth with his 16th home run.
The Cubs got back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the seventh before a double play and groundout ended the rally.
Lackey appeared to argue with home plate umpire Cory Blaser after the top of the sixth before right fielder Jason Heyward got between them. Cubs manager Joe Maddon then addressed Blaser.
Rangers: OF Shin-Soo Choo (back) was out of the lineup for a third straight game, but manager Jeff Banister said the team isn’t considering putting him on the disabled list just yet. “It still seems to bother him when he’s throwing,” Banister said. . RHP Kyle Lohse (strained oblique) threw a pain-free bullpen session Saturday. Banister expects him to start Tuesday at the Angels.
Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta didn’t pitch in Tuesday’s All-Star Game — and the rest was just what he needed, he said. The reigning NL Cy Young winner has allowed 10 runs in 11 1/3 innings in July.
“Sometimes you need that mental down time,” said Arrieta, who is scheduled to start Tuesday against the Mets. “Spending time with (son) Cooper and my family was tremendous. I picked up the ball for the first time in four or five days and threw the best ‘pen I’ve thrown all year.”
Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin (3-1, 3.81 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday’s opener of a three-game series at the Angels, who are expected to start RHP Nick Tropeano (3-2, 3.12).
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (9-4, 3.01) is to start Monday’s opener of a three-game set against the visiting Mets and LHP Steven Matz (7-5, 3.38). Lester allowed a season-high eight runs in a career-low 1 1/3 innings in his other start against New York this season.