Josh Hamilton Goes 1-for-4 for Frisco on Sunday
FRISCO — Josh Hamilton had a tough act to follow on Sunday, his own.
After going 4-for-5 with four runs scored and an RBI for Double-A Frisco in a 15-14 loss in 12 innings to Corpus Christi on Saturday night, Hamilton hit third for the RoughRiders on Sunday afternoon as their designated hitter at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
Hamilton went 1-for-4, his lone hit being a double to right center in the bottom of the third inning. The soon-to-be Ranger outfielder also lined out twice and struck out.
"I feel good," Hamilton said in the Frisco clubhouse postgame. "Kind of wish I’d had played the field. It’s tough to sit in the dugout and stay loose, so I was stretching, but bats felt good."
In his first plate appearance in the bottom of the first, Hamilton, who was facing Josh Hader, the Houston Astros’ No. 9 prospect, went to the dish with a runner on and one out. After getting ahead in the count 2-1, he took a called strike on the next pitch.
Hamilton then slapped a 2-2 pitch to left field, a ball which Corpus Christi left fielder Leo Heras brought in for the second out of the inning.
"Yeah, first at bat off a lefty today was a little weird. He (Hader) throws a little funky anyway," Hamilton said.
Josh’s second AB came in the third when he drilled a 2-2 pitch into right center field for a double. Hamilton advanced to third after Frisco right fielder Nomar Mazara grounded into a fielder’s choice, but Hamilton was left stranded at third when Joey Gallo struck out swinging to end the inning.
Hamilton admitted postgame he didn’t think his second AB would result in a hit.
"I actually thought it was a routine fly ball to right center field and it even looked that way when he (Corpus Christi center fielder Teoscar Hernandez) took off running after it," Hamilton said. "Thank you Frisco wind. It was high but I didn’t think it had a chance to leave when I hit it."
Hamilton’s third at-bat came in the bottom of the fifth when for the second time in the game, he headed to the dish with a runner on and one out. On the fourth pitch of the AB, Josh lined out to Hooks’ second baseman Tony Kemp, who then flipped the ball to first base to complete the 4-3 double play to end the inning.
In the home half of the eighth, Hamilton batted for what would be the final time of the game. After taking the first pitch low for ball one, Josh saw three straight strikes, two swinging and one called, capping the sequence by striking out swinging.
All told, Hamilton saw 19 pitches in his four plate appearances.
Counting his six games with Triple-A Round Rock and two games thus far in Frisco, Hamilton is 9-for-28 during his rehab assignment with four runs scored and three RBI.
Hamilton is slated to play for the Roughriders through at least Wednesday, the third game of a four-game series with the Midland Rockhounds, the Double-A Affiliate of the Oakland A’s. Wednesday’s game has an 11:05 AM start time.
On Thursday, the Rangers will finish up a three-game series at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox before heading to Yankee Stadium to face the New York Yankees in a three-game set running Friday through Sunday.
At least right now, the prevailing thought is that Hamilton could debut in either New York or in Cleveland, where the Rangers begin a three-game series against the Indians on Memorial Day, Monday May 25.
The 2010 American League MVP while with Texas, Hamilton said he has no preference whether his return comes against the Yankees or Indians. And as far as his return happening in New York in front of what is sure to be a large media contingent, that’s a scenario he hasn’t really thought about.
"Media stuff’s easy. You just be truthful and you ain’t got to worry about anything and that’s the way I’ve always been," Hamilton said. "It doesn’t matter how many faces are standing in front of me, you ask a question, tell the truth and we’re good to go."
As the former AL MVP strolled up to the plate prior to each of his four plate appearances, Hamilton received a warm reception from the Frisco crowd, something which was also the case in Round Rock.
Such support is something which Josh is glad to have.
"Yeah, it’s good. It’s good to be home. A fan today had a sign that said ‘Josh, We’ve Already Forgiven You’. And I walked over to him and said who else has forgiven us? He said Jesus, brother. I said yes, I am home," Hamilton said. "It’s been a good reception. It’s been good to hear a little twang in people’s voices and just go out there, just a good feeling. It’s been good so far."
Hamilton addressed the small media contingent in the Frisco clubhouse while dining on a spread from Maggiano’s Little Italy, a spread which he, as a veteran big-leaguer, paid for of course.
He said the menu will switch to Rudy’s BBQ after Tuesday’s game with Midland.
As he addressed the press, Hamilton spoke with a sense of peace and serenity that seemed to come from one rather simple source, being back in very familiar surroundings.
"I’m excited to get back into the routine of waking up and going to the ballpark, not sleeping in a hotel every night but having a place to call home. I’m excited about that," Hamilton said.
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