Outfielder Josh Hamilton returns to Globe Life Park on Thursday, his first game as a Ranger since going 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI on Sept. 30, 2012.
Hamilton collected his first hit of the season on Wednesday afternoon, a chopping single past the third baseman in the seventh inning in the Rangers 12-3 loss to the Indians. Hamilton tried to stretch it into a double but was thrown out.
“I told the ump this is the most fun I’ve ever had getting thrown out at second,” Hamilton said with a big smile after the game.
Back in the dugout, his teammates all greeted him with high fives and slaps on the back.
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“He looks fresh, he looks good, he has tremendous energy,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “He’s just showing us he’s here to play and he wants to play hard for this group of guys.”
Since joining the Rangers on Monday, Hamilton is 1 for 11 with four strikeouts in three games. He made two stellar defensive players on Wednesday, a first-inning catch before crashing into the wall in left field and later a sliding catch to his left. He also flashed balletic athleticism on a shallow fly in which he caught the ball and spun around to avoid directly running over shortstop Tommy Field, who spun away, as well.
Hamilton isn’t sure how nervous he’ll be before his first at-bat back in front of Rangers fans, but he’s hoping the nerves are in the rear view mirror back in Cleveland.
“I’m looking forward to being back in the area, and being back at the ballpark and taking BP for the first time there as a Ranger again in and playing in front of the fans,” he said. “I’m excited about it. I don’t know [if I’ll be nervous]. I’ll have to wait and see. I think I got them out the last [three] days. Hopefully, [I’ll] just go play.
Banister wants the fans to give Hamilton the same kind of welcome home as his teammates.
“I really hope our fans will treat him just like these players have, with open arms, and appreciate the things that he has done in a Rangers uniform,” Banister said. “Because this guy is going to be a winning player for us. I hope there’s sense of appreciation of him being back in a Rangers uniform.”
Edwards joins bullpen
Right-hander Jon Edwards was recalled from Triple A Round Rock before Wednesday’s game and pitched a scoreless eighth inning, including two strikeouts.
Outfielder Jake Smolinski was optioned back to Round Rock to make room for Edwards.
Edwards, 27, who attended Keller High School, had a 1.15 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings with Round Rock this season. He had 13 saves in 14 chances and a total 17 relief appearances. He hadn’t allowed a run in his last 13 2/3 innings since April 17. Triple A hitters were batting .080 against him in nine games in May.
The Rangers traded outfielder Carlos Peguero to the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations. Peguero was designated for assignment on May 20 when right-hander Phil Klein was recalled from Triple A Round Rock. Peguero batted .186 with four home runs and 9 RBIs in 30 games from April 11-May 19.
“My wife feels like I’ve been gone for a month. You’re not a manager of a major league team when you get home. You’re just husband and father. Take the trash out, do your own laundry, and wash the dishes.” — Rangers manager Jeff Banister on returning home after a nine-game road trip.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760