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Houston at Texas

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Houston (24-19)0200510008125
Texas (21-22) «30140026x16171

Hamilton's power surge propels Rangers over Astros

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Josh Hamilton almost made a spectacular running catch to start the game. Other than that, he was perfect.

After his near-catch in the first inning, when he reached over his head in deep center to get the ball in his glove before it popped out when he tumbled to the ground, Hamilton went 5-for-5 with two long home runs. He also drove in five runs for the Texas Rangers in their wild 16-8 victory over the Houston Astros in the Lone Star Series opener Friday night.

"My single favorite part? After I caught that ball, landed and dropped it, 5-for-5 felt good," Hamilton said with a smile, working his shoulder for emphasis. "I've been hurting ever since."

Hamilton's second homer, a three-run shot off the facade of the second deck of seats in right, gave Texas an 8-2 lead in the fourth.

After Houston rallied to tie it, Ian Kinsler drew a two-out walk in the seventh, stole second base and came home on Michael Young's single, scoring on a close play that led to the ejection of Astros manager Cecil Cooper after he came out to argue the call.

"Kinsler made a heck of a slide," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "And by the way, he was safe."

Kinsler slid in just ahead of the tag by catcher J.R. Towles after a throw from right fielder Hunter Pence. Cooper quickly emerged from the dugout to argue with plate umpire Angel Campos. Crew chief Angel Hernandez soon joined the discussion, and ejected Cooper.

Replays showed that Kinsler's foot slid across the edge of home plate just before Towles applied the tag.

"I thought they missed the call. I thought the tag was there," Cooper said. "The ump finally asked me if I wanted to leave and I told him he'd better do something because I wasn't leaving."

Hamilton followed with a triple into the right-field corner off Wesley Wright (3-1) to make it 10-8 and increase his major league-leading RBI total to 49. Hamilton's five hits and five RBI were both career highs, as were the 13 total bases that fell one short of Jose Canseco's franchise record set in 1994.

"It was a great night. That's why you play the game, right there," Hamilton said. "It doesn't happen all the time. When it does, it's like being a terrible golfer and making a hole-in-one or hitting a great shot."

Plus, he did have a nifty defensive play, with a running catch on Darin Erstad's flyball near the wall to end the fourth.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, David Murphy, Chris Shelton and Young also homered for the Rangers (21-22), who have won 14 of 20 since coming home from a miserable trip three weeks ago with the worst record in the majors.

Houston has been the NL's best team during that stretch, and still has won 17 of 24.

The Rangers added six runs in the eighth, when Murphy and Shelton had solo homers before Kinsler tripled off the left-field wall and Young homered. Hamilton then drew a walk in his final at-bat.

Jamey Wright (2-1), the third of five Texas pitchers, inherited a runner in the seventh. He retired both batters he faced and picked off Lance Berkman at first base.

Berkman went 2-for-4 to stretch his hitting streak to 15 games -- a span in which he is hitting .542 (32-for-59).

Hamilton got started with a single and scored in a three-run first, minutes after his near-catch. He led off the third with a 415-foot homer to right-center, then Saltalamacchia homered leading off the fourth. Hamilton's second homer chased Astros starter Shawn Chacon.

But Houston rallied with five runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to tie it, getting Chacon off the hook and into the record book. The right-hander set a major league mark by making his ninth consecutive start without a decision to begin the season.

After getting the 8-2 lead, Rangers starter Sidney Ponson allowed the first two batters in the fifth to reach, on a single and his fielding error, before a wild pitch. Darin Erstad hit an RBI double to make it 8-7, but on that play Carlos Lee was thrown out at the plate to the end the inning.

The Astros caught up at 8-all on Kazuo Matsui's RBI single in the sixth.

"There weren't a lot of positives tonight, but we can score runs," Berkman said.

Houston was coming off an 8-7 victory at San Francisco, overcoming a six-run deficit for its biggest comeback since 2000.

Texas had the bases loaded in the sixth after shortstop Miguel Tejada dropped a throw on a force play at second. But the inning ended when Pence, who grew up in Arlington, made a lunging catch on the warning track.

"I thought Pence's catch was going to put us over the hump," Cooper said. "We were really feeling good about ourselves at that point. I jumped up and down and ran down to give him a hug."

Notes

  • Michael Bourn snapped an 0-for-20 slump with a single in the Astros' sixth. He added his majors-best 18th stolen base, and still hasn't been caught this season.
  • Rangers 3B Hank Blalock (partially torn left hamstring) will likely head to extended spring training in Arizona as part of his rehabilitation. He was scheduled to play at Double-A Frisco on Thursday night but was scratched from the lineup when his hamstring tightened up.
  • Astros 3B Ty Wigginton started after missing three games with sore ribs from getting hit by a pitch Monday.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Hamilton should be grinning after going 5-for-5 with two homers and five RBI.  (AP)
Hamilton should be grinning after going 5-for-5 with two homers and five RBI. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

J. Hamilton
AB 5
R 4
H 5
HR 2
RBI 5
Houston

D. Erstad
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Houston Astros
Hunter Pence, RF4111110 .285
Kazuo Matsui, 2B5021000 .288
Miguel Tejada, SS5111033 .339
Lance Berkman, DH4120001 .394
Carlos Lee, LF4121001 .294
Darin Erstad, 1B4122000 .317
Ty Wigginton, 3B4110001 .228
Michael Bourn, CF4211000 .182
J.R. Towles, C4001001 .144
Totals38812814  
Batting
2B - Kazuo Matsui (9, Ponson), Miguel Tejada (12, Ponson), Carlos Lee (13, Ponson), Darin Erstad 2 (8, Ponson, Ponson)
RBI - Hunter Pence (23), Kazuo Matsui (12), Miguel Tejada (32), Carlos Lee (30), Darin Erstad 2 (11), Michael Bourn (7), J.R. Towles (11)
2-OUT RBI - Kazuo Matsui (5), Miguel Tejada (10), Carlos Lee (9), Darin Erstad (4)
SB - Michael Bourn (18, 2nd base off Francisco/Saltalamacchia)
PK - Lance Berkman (2, Wright)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Michael Bourn (3, Misplayed grounder), Kazuo Matsui (8, Dropped line drive), Miguel Tejada (5, Missed catch of throw), J.R. Towles (1, Misplayed grounder), Ty Wigginton (3, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Shawn Chacon 3.1685403 4.14
Dave Borkowski 2200010 3.93
Wesley Wright (L,3-1) 1.1322210 4.11
Doug Brocail 0.1000010 3.18
Oscar Villarreal 1662103 6.04
IBB - Bradley by Wesley Wright
Pitches-Strikes - Shawn Chacon 75-37, Dave Borkowski 30-21, Wesley Wright 39-22, Doug Brocail 6-3, Oscar Villarreal 34-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shawn Chacon 5-6, Dave Borkowski 3-2, Wesley Wright 3-1, Oscar Villarreal 3-1
Batters Faced - Shawn Chacon 21, Dave Borkowski 8, Wesley Wright 10, Doug Brocail 1, Oscar Villarreal 11
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B3311301 .299
Michael Young, SS6323003 .289
Josh Hamilton, CF5455100 .314
Milton Bradley, DH5020113 .315
David Murphy, RF6233001 .286
Brandon Boggs, LF5012106 .266
Frank Catalanotto, 1B3000002 .247
   a- Chris Shelton, PH-1B2111003 .200
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C5211020 .194
Ramon Vazquez, 3B4110100 .329
Totals4416171673  
a-flied out for Catalanotto in the 6th
Batting
2B - Brandon Boggs (4, Chacon)
3B - Ian Kinsler (1, Villarreal), Josh Hamilton (3, Wright)
HR - Michael Young (4, Villarreal), Josh Hamilton 2 (10, Chacon, Chacon), David Murphy (5, Villarreal), Chris Shelton (2, Villarreal), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (1, Chacon)
RBI - Ian Kinsler (20), Michael Young 3 (23), Josh Hamilton 5 (49), David Murphy 3 (26), Brandon Boggs 2 (10), Chris Shelton (3), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (4)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Kinsler (8), Michael Young 3 (9), Josh Hamilton (21), David Murphy 2 (14), Brandon Boggs 2 (6)
SB - Ian Kinsler (12, 2nd base off Wright/Towles)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Brandon Boggs 1
E - Sidney Ponson (2, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Sidney Ponson 5973020 3.52
Frank Francisco (BS,2) 1311110 2.92
Jamey Wright (W,2-1) 1000000 3.24
Joaquin Benoit (H,7) 1000000 5.30
Doug Mathis 1000010 0.00
WP - Sidney Ponson (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Sidney Ponson 80-55, Frank Francisco 25-16, Jamey Wright 6-5, Joaquin Benoit 12-8, Doug Mathis 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sidney Ponson 9-4, Jamey Wright 1-1, Joaquin Benoit 2-1, Doug Mathis 2-0
Batters Faced - Sidney Ponson 24, Frank Francisco 7, Jamey Wright 2, Joaquin Benoit 3, Doug Mathis 3
Game Information
Attendance - 32117
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Angel Campos, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Eric Cooper, Third Base - Marty Foster