Josh Hamilton doubled, singled and scored two runs in his return to Angel Stadium, and Texas got 7-plus outstanding innings of four-hit ball from Colby Lewis in a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
Hamilton was booed whenever he stepped to the plate or touched the ball at the stadium where he played the previous two seasons after signing a five-year, $125 million free-agent deal with the Angels. The former AL MVP was traded back to Texas three months ago following two dismal years in Orange County.
Hamilton’s double off the right-field wall started the Rangers’ three-run rally in the fourth.
Mike Trout hit his 29th home run, pulling even with Albert Pujols atop the AL homers race.
Trout also had a run-scoring single in the eighth for the Angels (54-42). They have lost two straight after winning 17 of their previous 20, allowing Houston (55-43) to pull virtually even atop the AL West.
Robinson Chirinos drove in two runs for the Rangers, who jumped on Angels fill-in starter Nick Tropeano to win their third straight.
Texas got a boost from Hamilton, who had just his second multi-hit game of July despite the frosty reception. Hamilton grinned and smirked after most of the boos, and he chatted frequently on the field with his former Angels teammates. He also figured in both of the Rangers’ scoring rallies.
Lewis (10-4) shook off his dismal career history against the Angels to dominate their surging lineup, striking out nine while yielding only three infield singles and Trout’s solo homer in the fourth.
After retiring 15 of the first 17, Lewis gave up two singles leading off the sixth. He calmly struck out Kole Calhoun, Trout and Pujols, who have all hit superbly against Lewis in the past.
Tropeano (1-1) pitched seven-hit ball into the seventh inning of his second start for the Angels. The Triple-A prospect seized the chance to fill Los Angeles’ need for an extra starter after Monday’s doubleheader, but his throwing error helped the Rangers’ decisive rally.
Tropeano retired 13 straight Rangers before the double by Hamilton, who scored from third after Tropeano’s pickoff throw to first got past C.J. Cron. Shin-Soo Choo and Chirinos added RBI singles.
Trout delivered a two-out RBI single off Keone Kela in the eighth, but Pujols took a called third strike moments later. Pujols went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.
Shawn Tolleson pitched the ninth for his 16th save.
Rangers: C Carlos Corporan (sprained thumb) took batting practice. He is expected to be activated next week.
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver won’t return early next month after missing the last month with a hip injury, but shouldn’t be out much longer.
Rangers: Yovani Gallardo (7-9, 2.91 ERA) has lost three straight starts despite his tidy ERA.
Angels: Hector Santiago (7-4, 2.30 ERA) began the weekend with the AL’s third-best ERA.