Hamilton twice puts Texas ahead in 5-3 win over Rays

BY foxsports • August 14, 2015

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Josh Hamilton started the day getting an MRI on the sore left knee that forced him to miss the previous two games.

Once the exam revealed no structural damage, Hamilton told manager Jeff Banister he could play through some pain and wanted back in the Texas Rangers' lineup. And then the slugger showed he still has some big pop in his bat.

Hamilton had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly ball to center in the eighth inning, after an earlier 437-foot homer, and the Rangers beat Tampa Bay 5-3 in a series opener Friday night to snap the Rays' four-game winning streak.

''It's been a while since I hit one like that. That felt good,'' Hamilton said of his sixth homer of the season, a deep drive to right-center.

The big relief came earlier in the day when he found out that he could keep playing through the pain without concern of doing any significant damage to his knee. He described his issue as thin cartilage and like a bone bruise.

''Definitely positive, and helped me understand that I can go there and run around and play,'' Hamilton said.

Texas tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh when Delino DeShields hit his first career homer, a towering shot that was just fair and landed several rows deep into the left-field seats.

''It was a good time to get my first one,'' said DeShields, echoing Banister's feelings.

Adrian Beltre's one-out single in the eight started the go-ahead rally off Jake McGee (1-2). Beltre went to third on a single by Mitch Moreland, who moved to second on the throw. Hamilton followed that before Elvis Andrus had an RBI single.

Sam Dyson (1-1) worked two scoreless innings in relief of starter Martin Perez. Shawn Tolleson worked the ninth for his 22nd save in 23 chances - all since May 20.

Evan Longoria's two-run double in the third put the Rays up 3-2, and came after the first of three umpire calls overturned on replay review.

One of the runners to score on Longoria's liner into the left-center gap was Rays leadoff hitter Brandon Guyer, who initially was called out on what appeared to be a double play. A 1-minute, 22-second review determined first baseman Moreland's foot had just slipped off the base.

''I could see that his foot was off the bag a little, so I figured if we did challenge it, we'd probably win,'' said Guyer, who two innings later was initially called safe trying to stretch a hit into a double before being out on the overturn.

The other overturned call also came with Tampa Bay batting, and was an safe call that became an out.

It was the 13th time since MLB started replay last season that there have been three overturned calls in the same game. There have never been four.


Prince Fielder was robbed of a homer in the fifth when Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier went back and reached above the 8-foot wall to make the inning-ending catch.


The final replay review in the seventh resulted in a 3-5 double play. Moreland fielded a hard chopper, stepped on first and threw across to Beltre. Curt Casali was tagged on the shoulder sliding into third. When Casali overslid the base and reached back, Beltre tagged him again, only to have the ball pop out of his glove. Crew chief Mark Carlson initially called an out before signaling safe. That was overturned on replay.


Tampa Bay rookie starter Nathan Karns, who went to high school on a few miles from the Rangers' ballpark, allowed two runs and two hits in 4 2/3 innings with four strikeouts. But he walked five in his 81 pitches over 4 2/3 innings.


Rays: LHP Drew Smyly is scheduled Sunday to make his first start since May 5 because of a torn left labrum. He threw a bullpen Friday with no problems. ... LF Desmond Jennings was back in the lineup after being reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. He missed 96 games because of left knee bursitis.

Rangers: RHP Nick Tepesch is scheduled to have surgery Wednesday to relieve Thoracic Outlet Symdrome. ... C Robinson Chirinos, out since July 31 with a left shoulder strain, took batting practice Friday. He could catch a bullpen session Saturday. ... CF Leonys Martin, sent to the minor leagues Aug. 4, has a broken bone in his right hand that could end his season.


Rays: RHP Chris Archer (10-8, 2.62 ERA) had a career-high 12 strikeouts in his only previous start at Texas, and he struck out six consecutive batters last August.

Rangers: Colby Lewis (12-5, 4.61) is coming off his eighth career complete game, the third one he has lost.