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Hamilton's four-hit outing boosts Feldman, Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CLEVELAND -- Josh Hamilton is heating up.

The timing couldn't be better for the Texas Rangers.

Hamilton had four hits Thursday, including the go-ahead two-run double in the third inning, leading Texas to a 4-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

The All-Star outfielder hit .486 with a homer and eight RBI on the Rangers' 10-game trip, raising his average from .220 to .260. More importantly, he's hitting his stride just as Boston comes to town for a three-game series with major playoff implications.

"He looked liked Josh Hamilton to me," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He's spraying the ball everywhere. As long as he's spraying the ball all over the ballpark, that's Josh."

The Rangers, who went 5-5 on the trip, trail the Red Sox by a half-game in the American League wild-card race.

"We always look forward to Boston," Hamilton said. "They've been good for a few years. Everybody gets fired up for the guys who've been there the last couple of years."

"It's an important series," Washington added. "We want to win the series, just like they want to win the series. They know how to win. They've been around. They're not going anyplace."

Scott Feldman (12-4) worked out of trouble several times after allowing a first-inning run in winning his third straight start. The right-hander gave up one run in six innings and struck out six to improve to 8-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 10 road starts this season.

Texas pitchers dominated the series after the Indians scored five runs in the third inning Tuesday night against Dustin Nippert. The Rangers held the Indians to one run -- which came on Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly Thursday -- in the final 23 innings of the series.

"Their pitching the last couple of days has been very good," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "They've always hit, but the difference this year is their pitching. They shut us down."

Hamilton's double off Jeremy Sowers (4-8) gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead. He also had an infield hit in the first and turned what appeared to be a routine single into a double by hustling into second base in the sixth. Hamilton's effort resulted in a run when he advanced to third on a hit and scored on David Murphy's sacrifice fly.

Hamilton added a single in the eighth and is batting .522 (12 for 23) with six RBI in six games against the Indians this season.

Hamilton, who also had a two-run double to left in Wednesday night's 5-0 win, attributes his recent success to using the whole field.

"I haven't done it in awhile," he said. "I've been trying to get out and hit the ball instead of letting the ball get to me. When you do that, you can't hit the ball effectively to the opposite field."

After batting .304 with a league-best 130 RBI in 2008, Hamilton didn't let this season's struggles become a negative.

"It's easy to get down and give up when things aren't going well," he said. "I'm glad I didn't get to that point."

Hamilton was 9 for 12 with four doubles in the series.

"He's obviously a very talented player and when he puts the bat on the ball, things happen," Sowers said. "He obviously had a really good series against us."

Feldman, who is tied for second in the AL in wins, allowed seven hits and threw 108 pitches.

"I didn't have any quick innings," he said, "but I was able to make quality pitches with runners in scoring position."

Frank Francisco pitched the ninth for his 15th save and his first since July 10. He was on the disabled list for three weeks with pneumonia.

Rookie right-hander Neftali Feliz relieved Feldman in the seventh and struck out the first five hitters he faced before Jhonny Peralta grounded out. Feliz also struck out the last two Angels hitters he faced Aug. 7, tying him with Hall of Famer and team president Nolan Ryan for the club record with seven straight strikeouts.

Elvis Andrus added a solo homer in the fourth, his fifth of the season.

Michael Young, who entered the game in a 1-for-18 slump, singled with one out in the third and took third on Andruw Jones' two-out double. Hamilton's hit toward the line fell in front of a diving Trevor Crowe in left field.

Notes

  • 2B Ian Kinsler (left hamstring) was 0 for 2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch in the first game of his rehab assignment at Double-A Frisco. He's scheduled to be activated Friday.
  • SS Asdrubal Cabrera extended his hitting streak to eight games. He's batting .433 (13 for 30) in the streak.
  • RHP Justin Masterson, acquired from Boston in the Victor Martinez trade, will make his second start for the Indians in Minnesota on Friday night.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Josh Hamilton ends a productive road trip with a 4 for 4, 2 RBI, day.  (AP)
Josh Hamilton ends a productive road trip with a 4 for 4, 2 RBI, day. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

J. Hamilton
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 2
Texas

S. Feldman
IP 6.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 2
K 6
 

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Texas Rangers
Esteban German, 2B5000000 .167
Michael Young, 3B5120010 .318
Marlon Byrd, CF5020002 .283
Andruw Jones, DH3110101 .222
Josh Hamilton, RF4142000 .260
Hank Blalock, 1B4020004 .249
David Murphy, LF3001001 .272
Taylor Teagarden, C4000003 .197
Elvis Andrus, SS4111003 .263
Totals37412411  
Batting
2B - Andruw Jones (16, Sowers), Josh Hamilton 2 (13, Sowers, Sowers)
HR - Elvis Andrus (5, Sowers)
SF - David Murphy (6)
RBI - Josh Hamilton 2 (37), David Murphy (33), Elvis Andrus (21)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Hamilton 2 (15), Elvis Andrus (9)
SB - Marlon Byrd (6, 2nd base off Smith/Shoppach)
CS - Marlon Byrd (2, 2nd base by Perez/Shoppach)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Andrus-German-Blalock
Texas Rangers
Scott Feldman (W,12-4) 6711260 3.90
Neftali Feliz (H,3) 2000050 1.35
Frank Francisco (S,16) 1100010 2.01
HBP - Shoppach (by Scott Feldman)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Feldman 108-66, Neftali Feliz 28-19, Frank Francisco 21-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Feldman 4-6, Neftali Feliz 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Feldman 26, Neftali Feliz 6, Frank Francisco 4
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4020010 .241
Jamey Carroll, 3B3120110 .301
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS3010011 .310
Shin-Soo Choo, RF3001023 .293
Jhonny Peralta, DH4000013 .268
Luis Valbuena, 2B4020020 .241
Kelly Shoppach, C2010101 .221
Trevor Crowe, LF4000015 .208
Chris Gimenez, 1B4000033 .181
Totals31181212  
Batting
2B - Luis Valbuena (18, Francisco)
SF - Shin-Soo Choo (5)
SH - Asdrubal Cabrera (9)
RBI - Shin-Soo Choo (62)
CS - Grady Sizemore (8, 2nd base by Feldman/Teagarden)
Team LOB - 8
Cleveland Indians
Jeremy Sowers (L,4-8) 5.1844101 4.88
Joe Smith 1.2100000 3.25
Rafael Perez 1200000 9.00
Chris Perez 1100010 4.06
WP - Joe Smith (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Sowers 101-61, Joe Smith 25-15, Rafael Perez 15-11, Chris Perez 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Sowers 3-13, Joe Smith 2-3, Rafael Perez 2-1
Batters Faced - Jeremy Sowers 25, Joe Smith 6, Rafael Perez 5, Chris Perez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 20090
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Rob Drake