Josh Hamilton is still tormenting the Florida Marlins, and now
his teammates are also doing more than their share.
Hamilton and the Texas Rangers will try to improve to 5-0
against the Marlins over the last two seasons when this three-game
series continues Saturday night in Arlington.
Texas (44-39) swept three games at Florida (36-46) last season
as Hamilton went 7 for 12. He went 2 for 2 with two walks in
Friday’s 15-5 victory, but was far from the biggest star at the
plate as the Rangers finished with 15 hits.
“This is a hitting club over here,” Florida manager Jack McKeon
said. “You can’t mess around with them.”
Nelson Cruz had a three-run homer and matched a career-high with
six RBIs on his 31st birthday. He also duplicated his RBI total
from his previous eight games.
“It was a good birthday,” Cruz said.
Adrian Beltre added three hits and four RBIs for Texas, which
posted its highest run total since Sept. 26, against Oakland.
Beltre has 18 RBIs in his last 21 games, and 61 for the season.
Elvis Andrus scored three runs, and is 3 for 7 in two games back
at shortstop after missing four with a sprained left wrist.
Texas led 7-0 after four innings and by nine after six.
“It was one of those games you run across occasionally,” McKeon
said. “You get the hell beat out of you. Some night we’ll do the
same to somebody else. I don’t know when. Hopefully soon.”
Florida, however, is an NL-worst 9-14 against left-handed
starters and will face Derek Holland (6-3, 4.68) for the first time
Saturday. Holland is 1-4 with a 4.64 ERA in seven career
interleague starts, including 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in two this
The southpaw was charged with seven runs – three earned – and 12
hits over six-plus innings of Sunday’s 8-5 loss to the Mets. He
failed to record a strikeout for the second time in three starts,
although he also did not issue a walk after throwing 67 of 103
pitches for strikes.
“The main thing is I threw a lot of strikes and didn’t have many
walks,” Holland told the Rangers’ official website. “I just did a
poor job of keeping down the damage.”
McKeon is expected to give rookie left-hander Brad Hand (0-3,
3.45) his fourth career start, and first since June 17. Hand was
sent to the minors three days after that outing, in which he
allowed three runs over 4 2-3 innings of a 5-1 loss at Tampa
The 21-year-old Hand went 7-1 with a 3.53 ERA in 11 starts for
Double-A Jacksonville before making his major league debut June 7
against Atlanta in place of the injured Josh Johnson (right
Florida is 4-5 since McKeon took over after Edwin Rodriguez
resigned June 20. The Marlins struck out 13 times Friday and have
fanned 44 times in their last four games.
Mike Stanton is hitting .300 (9 for 30) under McKeon, although
he has struck out a major league-high 14 times in that stretch.