Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton hits a home run against the Los Angeles Angels in Arlington, Texas

Josh Hamilton third ever with 17 homers in 33 games


Josh Hamilton stole the show from the Yu Darvish-C.J. Wilson matchup on Friday, hitting two more homers as part of the Rangers’ 10-3 win over the Angels. He now has 17 homers on the season.

Thanks in part to a lengthy rain delay in the first, the much anticipated pitching showdown was largely a dud. Facing his former team for the first time, Wilson didn’t come back after the delay and was charged with four runs in one-third of an inning. Both of Hamilton’s homers were hit off Jerome Williams. Darvish gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings in his fifth victory.

Hamilton, who has actually missed three games this season, is just the third player ever to hit 17 homers in his team’s first 33 games. Cy Williams of the 1923 Phillies and Frank Howard of the 1968 Senators also had 17.

Hamilton is also the sixth player to hit as many as eight homers in a five-game span, according to ESPN stats. Shawn Green had nine homers in five games in 2002.

Hamilton finished the night 3-for-4 after barely getting thrown out on his bid for an infield single in his last at-bat. He’s hitting .406 and has 40 RBI in 118 at-bats. He’s currently just eight homers away from matching his 2011 total of 25 in 487 at-bats.

The opposing No. 3 hitter hasn’t been so hot. Albert Pujols went 0-for-4 tonight to drop his average back to .192. With one homer on the season, he’s 36 away from matching his 2011 total.

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
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Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.