Rangers 10, Angels 9

Josh Hamilton knows there will be some boos when he returns to

Arlington the first week of the season.

If he performs the way he did during his first game against

Texas on Thursday night, they will be well earned.

Hamilton hit one of four home runs for Los Angeles in the top of

the fourth inning off Derek Lowe, but the Angels lost 10-9 to the

Rangers.

”The guys already have a poll on the team, if I’ll get more

claps or boos,” Hamilton said before the game.

”I can’t worry about it. There are people that clap and people

that will boo. I think it’s funny. I got booed when I played there,

why wouldn’t I get booed when I play for the Angels and play

there?”

Hamilton isn’t the first player to move from the Rangers to

their division rivals on the West Coast. C.J. Wilson switched teams

before last season after signing a free-agent deal and went 13-10

with a 3.83 ERA for the Angels.

But Wilson didn’t have the same cache as Hamilton. He overcame

drug addiction to win an MVP award become one of the games biggest

stars.

In five seasons with Texas, Hamilton hit .305 with 142 home runs

and 506 RBIs with another six homers and 22 RBIs in the Rangers’

two World Series runs.

The Angels rewarded him with a five-year, $125-million contract.

Though expectations are high, Hamilton said he’s not feeling any

additional pressure.

”Somebody told me to think about the contract you sign now, but

you’re really getting paid for what you’ve done in the past,” said

Hamilton, who finished 1 for 3. ”So don’t put extra pressure on

yourself to perform. Just go out, have fun, play the game and

contribute any way you can.”

Earlier this spring, a minor firestorm broke out when Hamilton

said the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex was more of a football town.

But he said Thursday he wasn’t questioning the priorities of the

Rangers fans.

”When you start thinking about having 50,000 out on a Friday

night instead of high school football games, that’s fun,” he said.

”I’m glad the fans came out. Everybody loves a winner. Everybody

comes out to watch a winner.

”I spent so much time with the fans, not because I wanted to

get them to like me but because I wanted to,” he added. ”When we

go back there, if there’s somebody ragging me, cussing me or

whatever the case may be, it’s still not going to stop me from

signing autographs and spending time with them.”

Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Howie Kendrick and Hank Conger homered

during the Angels’ six-run fourth inning against Rangers starter

Derek Lowe that pulled Los Angeles to 7-6.

Lowe had allowed only two hits in his first three innings,

facing the minimum nine batters, before struggling in the

fourth.

”Wow. I should have stopped,” said Lowe, who was pitching for

the third time in seven days. ”It was unbelievable. It’s hard to

do. All kidding aside, it just shows you how important location is.

Get the ball over the middle of the plate and bad things are going

to happen.”

Conger had a two-run triple in the sixth that put Los Angeles

ahead 8-7. Erick Aybar added a solo shot in the seventh.

Leonys Martin, the only Texas starter to play the full nine

innings, hit a bases-loaded double in the bottom of the ninth to

give the Rangers their third win in four games.

”They put some runs up in a hurry,” Rangers manager Ron

Washington said. ”But we can do that, too.”

Ian Kinsler doubled and scored in the first, then the Rangers

used eight straight hits off Angels starter Jerome Williams to six

more runs for a 7-0 lead.

Williams allowed the seven runs on 11 hits while facing only 14

batters. He struck out one.

NOTES: Rangers SS Elvis Andrus was 3 for 4 with with two RBIs

and a run scored. . Kendrick went 2 for 3 to raised his batting

average to .521. . Conger has driven in 15 runs in 12 games. .

Pujols started at first for the second time in three games while

also playing three straight games for the first time this spring. .

Texas RHP Yu Darvish, who was scratched from his start Monday

because of a stiff neck, threw a bullpen session Thursday and will

start Saturday against Cincinnati. . Washington announced earlier

Thursday that left-hander Matt Harrison will be the opening day

starter and that right-hander Robbie Ross, who was vying for a spot

at the tail end of the rotation after 58 relief appearances last

season, will return to the bullpen. . Texas released RHP Yoshinori

Tateyama from his minor league contract so he can try and pursue a

major league job elsewhere.