Rangers-Rays: Josh Hamilton Slams Former Team
On Monday, in his first game back to Tampa Bay, the team that selected him first overall in the MLB Draft in 1999, Josh Hamilton struggled at the plate with a 0-4 game.
Tuesday, Hamilton inflicted a little revenge, and reminded the Rays why you want Hamilton on your team.
In his first at bat Hamilton doubled to left, scoring Michael Young. In the second inning, Hamilton reached on a two-out error by Rays' third baseman Evan Longoria, scoring Jarrod Saltalmacchia and igniting a five-run inning.
In the fourth and sixth innings, the Rays were able to keep Hamilton off the bases, but not in the eighth.
With nobody out, the bases loaded, and the Rangers leading 8-5, Hamilton hit his second career grand slam. A no-doubt line drive to right field gave the Rangers all of the run support they would need. Hamilton also recorded his third five RBI game of the season, and brought his league-leading total to 58.
Ian Kinsler went 2-6, scoring two more runs for his AL league-leading 43rd and 44th runs scored on the season. Kinsler also stole second base in the second inning, his 15th steal in as many attempts. Kinsler's streak of steals without being caught extends back to last season, 21 consecutive steals.
The Rangers youth movement continued with solid games from Saltalamacchia and Brandon Boggs. Salty had a 3-5 game, doubling and scoring twice, and Boggs went 3-5, with a double and three RBI (all with two outs).
A pair of two-run homers from Tampa Bay's Cliff Floyd (three) and Eric Hinske (10) gave the Rays four of their eventual six runs.
Rangers pitcher Vicente Padilla received the win, giving him his team-leading seventh win of the season, while Rays' starter Andy Sonnanstine took his third loss of the season.
The Rangers again reached the .500 plateau at 27-27, and even with the loss, the Rays still hold a tie for the best record in baseball at 31-21.
Texas will put their nine-series win streak on the line when the two teams complete their three-game series Wednesday afternoon, 11:40 AM CST, when Kason Gabbard (1-1) and Matt Garza (3-1) face-off.
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