Josh Hamilton goes 1-for-5 as Rangers beat A’s

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Playing with black armbands and heavy hearts, the Rangers roughed up All-Star left-hander Gio Gonzalez and beat the A’s 8-5 on Friday night.

The Rangers started this one in torrid fashion, going deep three times in the first and second innings off a pitcher who had surrendered just six homers in 109 innings for the season.  Mike Napoli, Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler did the damage, as the Rangers scored seven runs between the two frames.

Gonzalez bounced back to throw two scoreless innings from there, but he was removed after four, making it his shortest outing of the season.  Only three of the seven runs he gave up were earned.

Napoli ended up collecting two doubles to go along with his grand slam in the first.

Josh Hamilton, back in left field after the nightmare 24 hours earlier, finished the game with a single and a run scored in five at-bats.

C.J. Wilson picked up the win for Texas, though it wasn’t one of his better outings.  He gave up four of Oakland’s runs while working seven innings.  Closer Neftali Feliz allowed a single run in the ninth to make it 8-5.

If there is an ALCS Game 7, Ric Flair will call out “Play Ball!”

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I don’t really care who wins the ALCS, but part of me wants to see it go seven games now. Why? Because if the Astros win tonight and force a Game 7, the series will be visited by a Rolex-wearin,’ kiss-stealin,’ wheelin-dealin,’ limousine ridin,’ jet flyin,’ son of a gun, jack! From the Chronicle:

The Astros-Yankees American League Championship Series gets to a Game 7, the Astros will have pro wrestling superstar Ric Flair call out “Play Ball!” before the game in a video message. Astros right fielder Josh Reddick is a huge wrestling fan and uses Flair’s entrance music every time he steps to the plate at Minute Maid Park. Fans also have adopted the wrestler’s “Woo!” yell throughout the season.

That’s pretty cool. It’d be even cooler if it ended with a Dusty Finish.