Rangers’ Hamilton has no emotions facing Angels for 1st time
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Josh Hamilton insisted that he had no extra emotions playing the Angels for the first time since Los Angeles traded him back to Texas.
Before going 1 for 3 with a double and two strikeouts in an 8-2 loss Friday night, Hamilton said the only significance of the weekend series was limited to playing again this week following a month on the disabled list.
“It’s just another baseball game,” Hamilton said before facing the team he played for the past two seasons. The slugger didn’t appear in the clubhouse after the game.
Hamilton, who batted fifth and played left field, was replaced in the field by Ryan Rua at the start of the eighth inning with Texas trailing 8-1.
Rua homered leading off the Texas ninth.
It was only Hamilton’s 10th game for the Rangers this season, his third since being activated Tuesday from the disabled list after a strained left hamstring.
“We’re going to continue to evaluate that daily. We have to mindful of how he comes out of each game, how he feels physically,” manager Jeff Banister said. “We’ll assess that each day.”
Hamilton said he has moved forward since he was traded to Texas on April 27, rejoining the franchise the former AL MVP led to two World Series appearances from 2008-12.
“There’s no searching or closure for me. It’s over. I’ve moved on. I’m in Texas now,” he said. “I’ve got a great group of guys here. I had a great group of guys in Anaheim.”
Neftali Feliz, the closer for the Rangers when they won those back-to-back AL pennants in 2010 and 2011, was designated for assignment after two scoreless innings against Los Angeles.
“It was a tough call,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “Neftali’s been on the mound for some of the best moments in Rangers history.”
The Angels traded Hamilton after an offseason that included shoulder surgery and a self-reported substance abuse relapse.
“I gave them to the best of my ability, worked as hard as I could to try to be the player I was in Texas, in Anaheim. They all knew that. They saw the work I put in,” Hamilton said. “Stuck with needles and cortisone shots and everything else to go out there and play. I gave them what I had when I was there.”
In two seasons with the Angels after signing a $125 million, five-year contract in December 2012, Hamilton hit .255 with 31 homers and 123 RBIs. He played only 89 games for Los Angeles last year because of injuries.
Los Angeles is paying $105 million for those two seasons, and the Rangers are responsible for $6 million through 2017 after Hamilton agreed to give up $14 million he was due from the original deal.
The way Angels manager Mike Scioscia looked at things, there really wasn’t anything unusual seeing Hamilton playing for the other team.
“I don’t think any of us gave it a thought,” Scioscia said after the game. “Really, we played against Josh for a long time, it’s not like this is something new. He’s been a Ranger longer than any other team he’s played with.”
Garrett Richards (9-5) won his sixth consecutive start against Texas, Erick Aybar had his first five-hit game, and Kole Calhoun drove in four runs with a pair of early doubles.
Asked about when the Rangers go to Los Angeles for a series in three weeks, Hamilton said his focus has been on coming back from his hamstring injury.
“I can’t imagine it being much worse than when I came back here with the Angels,” he said. “I’ll get through that.”
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver (inflamed left hip) played catch on the field before the game. He is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, but Scioscia said he will need a rehab start and likely won’t pitch for the Angels until after the All-Star break. ... RHP Cory Rasmus (left abdominal surgery) came off the 60-day DL and was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake City, where he has been on injury rehab since June 19.
Rangers: Banister said OF Delino DeShields (left hamstring strain) has looked good in his rehab stint at Triple-A Round Rock. Banister said there is a chance DeShields could be back before the All-Star break.
Angels: Left-hander Hector Santiago (4-4) starts against Texas for the third time this season. He allowed only two earned runs in 12 1-3 innings in the first two games.
Rangers: Wandy Rodriguez (5-3) has won four of his last five decisions, but gave up a season-high eight runs in his last home start June 24 against Oakland.