The Rangers didn't waste any time sending the message that the Cole Hamels trade was about this season, not just the future.
Beating the reigning World Series champs and ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner is a good way to send that message.
The Rangers roughed up Bumgarner (11-6) for six runs and nine hits over seven innings for a 6-3 win over the Giants.
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Bumgarner had had enough by the end of the fourth inning when he sparked a benches-clearing incident.
Nothing came of the incident, but the Rangers showed they intend to take ad-vantage of the addition of Hamels and reliever Jake Diekman immediately.
In fact, Diekman got into the game despite not arriving at the ballpark from Philadelphia until after the first pitch. Hamels will start Saturday's game, giving the Rangers the chance to make the most of his addition in the second half of the sea-son.
The Rangers started the day eight games out of first place in the AL West and four games out of the second Wild Card spot. But if they continue to play with the aggressiveness shown in Friday's win over San Francisco, that ground could be made up quickly.
"Everybody's feeling better; You can see the energy," shortstop Elvis Andrus said of the positive vibe created by the trade. "We're all-in together in this. We have what we need to play up and we're going to make the push for sure."
Andrus helped that push with a two-run homer in the second inning, but that was merely the cap to the Rangers' offensive success against Bumgarner.
Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, one of three hits for him, to erase a 1-0 deficit.
The Rangers struck for four more runs in the second inning for a 6-2 lead.
"It's nice always to come out early and attack a pitcher who has really good stuff," Beltre said. "He's been a dominant pitcher and we came out looking to have really good at-bats and look for a ball up. We were able to capitalize on that early."
Bumgarner's frustration boiled over when he barked at the Rangers' Delino DeShields for a bat-flip following a pop-up to second. Both dugouts and bullpens came onto the field, but calm was restored and the game continued without incident.
"Just two competitive teams fighting for a ballgame," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
Rangers starter Nick Martinez (6-6) gave up a run in each of the first two frames but kept the Giants from turing them into big innings.
Martinez lasted 6 1/3, then Diekman took the ball even though he essentially stepped off an airplane and into the dugout in the first inning. Hamels showed up in the Rangers dugout a few innings later.
"I wanted to get it out of the way," Diekman said. "I mean, if I'm available to pitch, if I'm healthy enough to pitch, I'm ready to go."
Diekman, a hard-throwing lefty, put up zeroes for 1 2/3 innings before giving way to closer Shawn Tolleson in the ninth.
"That's what we got him for," Banister said. "You saw why we were so interested in getting him here, also. You saw the power of the fastball and you also saw the breaking ball."
You also saw what a major trade deadline acquisition can do for a team's confidence for at least one game. The Rangers are betting that the positive feelings last a lot longer.
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