Josh Hamilton homers in return from injury, helping 1st-place Rangers beat Mariners 7-1

By David Jimenez, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hamilton homers in return to lead Rangers past M’s

ARLINGTON, Texas — Even though All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton was sidelined for more than two weeks, the Texas Rangers surged into first place in the AL West without him.

Despite their recent string of success, the Rangers felt incomplete without their star center fielder in the lineup.

Hamilton returned from the disabled list by hitting the go-ahead homer in a six-run seventh inning and the Rangers won for the eighth time in 10 games, beating the Seattle Mariners 7-1 Tuesday night.

“We never felt like we were full strength without him,” manager Ron Washington said. “There are going to be some points this year when he’s going to get it together and we’re going to ride him for a while.”

Hamilton, activated after missing 13 games with a strained ribcage muscle, struggled in his first three at-bats before his two-run shot off reliever Mark Lowe (0-1) gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead. Hamilton bounced into a double play in the first, flew out in the third and struck out looking in the fifth.

“I didn’t feel that great in batting practice,” said Hamilton, who had not played since April 26. “Right before that home run, I swung at a pitch in the dirt. I just saw the ball and put the barrel of the bat on it.”

Rookie Derek Holland (1-1) pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings to earn his first career victory.

Chris Davis homered for the fourth time in eight games for Texas, and Michael Young had three hits and reached base five times after missing two games with back stiffness.

Scott Feldman gave up one run in 6 1-3 innings for the Rangers. Mariners starter Jason Vargas allowed one run and five hits in five innings.

Seattle, which got an RBI double from Kenji Johjima in the seventh, has lost seven of eight.

Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu may tinker with the lineup to help boost an offense that had only four hits Tuesday.

“We’re at a point where we might have to do something,” Wakamatsu said.

At Toronto, Roy Halladay (7-1) pitched a five-hitter to beat former teammate A.J. Burnett, Scott Rolen had three hits and three RBIs and the Blue Jays improved to an AL-best 23-12.

Alex Rodriguez had an RBI single in the seventh for the Yankees. Burnett (2-1) allowed five runs and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings and has not won since April 14.

At Baltimore, Adam Jones hit two homers in a game for the first time in his career and drove in four runs to lead the Orioles.

Jones hit a solo shot in the first inning and a three-run drive in the second. Both homers — his seventh and eighth of the season — came off Andy Sonnanstine (1-4), who had allowed only one home run in 32 2-3 innings this season.

Baltimore trailed 5-1 in the second inning before rallying for its fourth win in six games. Kevin Bass (2-1) pitched four scoreless innings of relief and George Sherrill worked the ninth for his sixth save.

At Cleveland, Jim Thome hit a pair of two-run homers to lead Chicago.

Both home runs were off Indians starter Jeremy Sowers (0-2), and Thome’s 42nd multi-homer game gave him 547 for his career.

D.J Carrasco (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings in relief. Bobby Jenks pitched the ninth inning, recording his eighth save in as many chances.

At Minneapolis, Joe Mauer homered, and was robbed of another by Clete Thomas, and the Twins’ struggling bullpen protected a lead for three innings.

Joe Crede homered for the Twins in his first at-bat after missing three games with a hamstring injury.

Armando Galarraga (3-3) gave up five runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He is 0-5 with a 5.63 ERA in his career against the Twins.

Kevin Slowey (5-1) gave up one run and eight hits in six innings for the Twins. Jose Mijares, Matt Guerrier and Joe Nathan retired nine straight for an embattled bullpen that surrendered a two-run lead in the eighth against Seattle on Sunday.

Mauer is hitting .500 (16 for 32) despite missing all of spring training and the first 22 games of the season with a back injury.

At Oakland, Calif., Jack Cust hit a three-run homer in a seven-run second inning and Orlando Cabrera had three hits and four RBIs for the Athletics.

Matt Holliday added two hits and two RBIs and Trevor Cahill (2-2) pitched six innings for the win as the A’s handed the Royals their fourth straight loss.

Coco Crisp homered and had three hits and Mike Jacobs homered for Kansas City.

Luke Hochevar (0-1) gave up eight runs in three innings after being called up from the minors on Sunday.

At Anaheim, Calif., Jason Varitek drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the ninth inning and J.D. Drew homered for Boston.

Drew led off the ninth with a single against Scot Shields (1-3) and scored one out later when Varitek lined a 1-2 pitch to right-center.

Ramon Ramirez (4-0) pitched a hitless eighth inning for the victory and Jonathan Papelbon got three outs for his ninth save in as many chances.

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