for this game

Hamilton hits walk-off homer as Rangers edge Angels

Jul 10, 2008 - 4:43 AM By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- All-Star Josh Hamilton struggled most of the night but came through when it mattered most.

Hamilton belted his first career walk-off home run, a two-run shot that just cleared the wall in right field, lifting the Texas Rangers to a dramatic 5-4 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday night.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in a pair of runs and Ian Kinsler extended his hitting streak to a career-best 21 games for Texas, which rallied from a two-run deficit against major league saves leader Francisco Rodriguez (0-2).

"This was my first walk-off ever, my first helmet toss ever," said Hamilton, who had gone 70 at-bats since his last homer on June 17. "I always see guys on TV tossing their helmet and jumping into the crowd. That was pretty cool."

Saltalamacchia was not surprised, given what Hamilton has overcome to get to this point. The second-year center fielder was the first overall pick of the 1999 draft, but substance abuse derailed his career before a comeback last season.

"No one was shocked. That's something he does. He's a miracle in itself," Saltalamacchia said. "He has the ability to do anything he wants to do, and that's exactly what he did tonight."

Rodriguez, the normally automatic All-Star closer, got off to a shaky start by issuing a leadoff walk to pinch hitter Ramon Vazquez. The righthander struck out Kinsler and retired Frank Catalanotto before Michael Young plated Vazquez with a single - his third hit of the game - to slice the deficit to 4-3.

After Young stole second, Hamilton did the rest.

Hamilton, who had been 0-for-4 and stranded four baserunners, was facing the nearly impenetrable Rodriguez with two outs. However, Hamilton shrugged off the bad night with one swing, launching a 3-1 breaking ball over the right field wall for his 20th home run of the season and major league-leading 88th and 89th RBI.

"It says a lot about our team. He came in (Tuesday) night and did a good job," Hamilton said of Rodriguez. "But we're going against you hard until the last out is made. That's why you keep going after it all the time. Everybody, at some point, gives it up."

It was just the third blown save in the last 38 chances for Rodriguez.

"I think I put myself in the situation, I couldn't locate my pitches early in the inning," Rodriguez said. "When you open an inning up by two runs like that, walking a guy, you're going to pay. I didn't locate my pitches. If you do that, you're going to get hurt."

"Frankie's been right on all year and just really throwing the ball well, and occasionally, one's going to slip through the cracks, and that's what happened tonight," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Angels center fielder Torii Hunter summed up the confrontation pretty well.

"You got one of the best hitters in baseball at the plate and you got one of the best pitchers in baseball," Hunter said. "I thought it was a good pitch and (Hamilton) actually got jammed, but one of the best, strongest hitters in baseball, he pounded that one out."

Hamilton's blast gave Jamey Wright (5-3), who threw two scoreless innings, the win.

Anaheim took a 4-2 lead in the seventh, when the light-hitting Juan Rivera - who started the day batting just .188 - drilled a two-run homer off Frank Francisco.

Angels starter Jered Weaver pitched well enough to win, allowing just two runs - one earned - and seven hits in six innings, walking two and striking out five.

Anaheim opened the scoring in the second inning, when Rivera's sacrifice fly plated Hunter. The Angels doubled the lead in the fourth against reliever Josh Rupe as Maicer Izturis came home on Hunter's double-play grounder.

Texas got back a run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Saltalamacchia and tied it in the sixth, capitalizing on two fielding errors. After hitting a leadoff single and advancing to third on a miscue by left fielder Rivera, Marlon Byrd scored from third when right fielder Vladimir Guerrero dropped what should have been a routine sacrifice fly by Saltalamacchia.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA ANGELS 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 4 8 2
    TEXAS 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 3 5 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LAA - JERED WEAVER, JOSE ARREDONDO (7TH), SCOT SHIELDS (8TH),
    FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH) AND JEFF MATHIS
    TEX - WARNER MADRIGAL, JOSH RUPE (4TH), FRANK FRANCISCO
    (7T

    Jul 9 11:05 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JOSH HAMILTON (20) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ SCORED MICHAEL YOUNG.
    FINAL SCORE: TEXAS 5, LA ANGELS 4

    Angels 4, Rangers 5  Bot 9, 0 OutsJul 9 11:05 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL YOUNG SCORED RAMON VAZQUEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M YOUNG ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 4
    TEXAS 3 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J HAMILTON (.305, 0-FOR-4)

    Angels 4, Rangers 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsJul 9 11:02 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Angels 4, Rangers 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsJul 9 11:02 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JUAN RIVERA (3) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF FRANK FRANCISCO SCORED TORII HUNTER.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 4, TEXAS 2
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: H KENDRICK (.316, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels 4, Rangers 2  Top 7, 0 OutsJul 9 10:18 PM
  • 5
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 32 roots

    Angels 4, Rangers 2  Top 7, 0 OutsJul 9 10:18 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA SCORED MARLON BYRD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J SALTALAMACCHIA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    TEXAS 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G DURAN (.227, 1-FOR-2)

    Angels 2, Rangers 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 9 9:59 PM
  • 37
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 32 roots

    Angels 2, Rangers 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 9 9:59 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Angels 2, Rangers 1  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 9 9:26 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA SCORED DAVID MURPHY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J SALTALAMACCHIA ON FIRST, M BYRD ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    TEXAS 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G DURAN (.229, 1-FOR-1)

    Angels 2, Rangers 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 9 9:22 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    TORII HUNTER HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING MAICER IZTURIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    TEXAS 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G ANDERSON (.269, 1-FOR-1)

    Angels 2, Rangers 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 9 9:09 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JUAN RIVERA SCORED TORII HUNTER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G ANDERSON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 1
    TEXAS 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: H KENDRICK (.320, 0 HR, 19 RBI)

    Angels 1, Rangers 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJul 9 8:34 PM