Before Thursday’s series finale with the New York Yankees, Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton wasn’t interested in dissecting his resurgence at the plate.
According to his manager Jeff Banister, Hamilton has been feeling good in the cages and his two hits and two RBIs on Wednesday appeared to indicate that Hamilton, who has dealt with groin and hamstring strains this season, was finally feeling comfortable at the plate.
His performance Thursday night at Globe Life Park was another prime example.
Hamilton collected four RBIs, including a two-out, game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth to give the Rangers a 7-6 walk-off win and a series split with the Yankees.
Leonys Martin scored from second base with the winning run. He had reached on a single, followed by a walk by Adrian Beltre to set up Hamilton’s heroics. It’s Hamilton’s second walk-off hit this season and seventh all-time for the Rangers, fourth-most in club history.
“[Hamilton] made a comment that he had been working on a couple different things and he felt real good going into yesterday’s game, so I’ll take him at his word,” Banister said with a smile.
Hamilton is 5 for 11 with six RBIs in his past three games and has added a missing jolt to the Rangers’ offense. Hamilton turned on a 2-0 pitch from left-handed reliever Andrew Miller, who took the loss. Shawn Tolleson (3-2) pitched the ninth for Texas to earn the win.
“That’s one of the funnest things you can do in baseball,” he said. “Hopefully, we can take the momentum from that and continue to have a good homestand,” Hamilton said.
It was the first back-to-back home wins for the Rangers since beating the Dodgers on June 15-16.
The Yankees jumped on Rangers starter Yovani Gallardo with three runs in the first inning, including a solo homer from Mark Teixeira. Teixeira added another solo homer in the seventh and went 3 for 4 with a walk.
Texas came back in the bottom of the first with its own show of power, a three-run homer by Hamilton. It was Hamilton’s fourth homer and first since July 18.
Before the game, Hamilton joked that he wasn’t ready to start talking about his renewed prowess at the plate.
“I’m working on it. Can you give me a stretch where I can just get some hits for a while and [then] we can talk about it,” he joked.
Shin-Soo Choo’s solo homer to the right-field upper deck porch in the second put the Rangers on top 4-3.
In the third, however, New York reclaimed the lead with a two-run homer by Brian McCann after Teixeira had reached with a one-out single against Gallardo. Gallardo was charged with five runs on eight hits and two walks.
It’s the third consecutive start Gallardo has allowed five earned runs. He’s allowed 15 earned runs in his past 14 innings. Before this rough patch, he had allowed just nine earned runs in his previous 62 2/3 innings.
In the eighth, Rangers reliever Sam Freeman was in a bases-loaded jam but struck out Brett Gardner on three pitches to escape.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760