It’s been one heck of a week for Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. After missing nearly two months of the season due to a shoulder injury, Hamilton was able to return to action Monday.
Hamilton played in three road games before returning to Globe Life Park as a member of the Rangers on Thursday. He received a standing ovation in his first at-bat back with the club and promptly doubled.
Things got even better Friday, as Hamilton smashed two home runs in front of the Texas fans during a 7-4 win. After playing in six straight games, Hamilton was not in the lineup for the series finale against the Boston Red Sox.
Since he wasn’t in the lineup, Hamilton could relax and reflect on his first week back in action after a tumultuous offseason. He wouldn’t be able to relax for long, however.
With men on first and second in the bottom of the ninth, and his team trailing by a run, Hamilton was called on as a pinch hitter against Red Sox closer Koji Uehara. The stage was set for Hamilton to play the hero in his first series back in front of his home fans.
He would deliver. On the third pitch of the at-bat, Hamilton smacked a 79 mph splitter out to left field for an extra-base hit. Hanser Alberto would score easily, tying the game 3-3. Prince Fielder managed to score all the way from first base, giving the Rangers the 4-3 victory. Hamilton was credited with a walk-off double on the play.
The hit capped what must have been a crazy week for Hamilton. Through his first 26 plate appearances, Hamilton is hitting .273/.385/.636. Five of his six hits have come at Globe Life Park.
At age-34, Hamilton is no longer in his prime. While there were extenuating circumstances involved in his trade back to Texas, the fact that the Los Angeles Angels were willing to part with him for so little speaks to that decline.
Still, Hamilton’s first series at his old home park brought back memories of his vintage days with the Rangers. Given everything he’s been through over the past few years, that must have felt pretty good.
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