The Chicago Cubs came out of the All-Star break showing signs that their midseason skid is done.
Right-hander John Lackey pitched well enough Sunday to end his own winless streak, except he ran into Cole Hamels at a park where he has some strong recent history.
Lackey allowed four runs and six hits in eight innings, but Hamels dominated for eight innings in his first game at Wrigley Field since throwing a no-hitter at the famed ballpark a year ago to help the Texas Rangers beat the Cubs 4-1.
Lackey's winless streak reached seven starts, and he is 14-16 in 41 starts against Texas, the team he's faced most often in his career.
"I was honestly pretty happy about the way I threw the ball," Lackey (7-6) said. "Threw eight innings and definitely not a good day to pitch."
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.
Sunday's win gave AL West-leading Texas its first victory since the All-Star break after it dropped two straight to the Cubs. Texas had lost four consecutive overall.
"I got 10 days of rest. You get a whole week of rest, I guess that helps," Hamels said. "I know it's the second half, want to start off right. This is now the go time."
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 for Texas. The Cubs had won three in a row since dropping nine of 10.
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.
"He likes Wrigley, doesn't he?" Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Hamels. "The way he started out, it looks like, here we go all over again. And then we started putting the ball in play. We just didn't really have any hard contact consistently, but he was good."
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 argued with home plate umpire Cory Blaser after the top of the sixth before right fielder Jason Heyward got between them. Maddon then addressed Blaser. Lackey declined to go into details of the chat.
"They're talking about Christmas cards for next year," Maddon joked. "Just let John vent a little bit. He's fine."
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 Award 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 scheduled 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.