Josh Hamilton had no answer for the boos that rained down in his return to Arlington on Friday; the former AL MVP went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a couple of misplays in right field as the Angels lost to the Rangers 3-2.
Adrian Beltre hit a game-tying homer for Texas in the seventh, and Ian Kinsler singled in Craig Gentry for the go-ahead run in the eighth.
The Angels got nothing out of their vaunted middle-of-the-order today, as Albert Pujols, Hamilton and Mark Trumbo combined to go 0-for-10 with two walks.
Besides struggling at the plate, Hamilton had a tough time in right field.
Hamilton turned A.J. Pierzynski’s double into a triple in the second inning and later got a late jump on Lance Berkman’s fly to shallow right in the fifth. The ball dropped out of the reach of both Hamilton and second baseman Howie Kendrick, and Berkman was credited with a double.
Hamilton is now 1-for-16 with eight strikeouts this season. His one hit Thursday did drive in two runs.
Hamilton spent five years with the Rangers before signing a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels in the offseason. He won AL MVP honors in 2010 and hit 43 homers and drove in 128 runs last year,
The Nationals lost a heartbreaker on Tuesday night, as the Indians overcame a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Nationals 7-6. Closer Jonathan Papelbon faced five batters but was unable to record an out, yielding a leadoff walk, a double, a bunt that ended up very successful due to a Ryan Zimmerman throwing error, an intentional walk, and a single. Oliver Perez came in and eventually allowed one of his inherited runners to score, saddling Papelbon with the loss.
Papelbon also served up four runs in the outing before Tuesday’s, on Saturday against the Padres. The two clubs entered the top of the ninth tied 6-6, but a walk followed by three two-out singles and a bases-clearing double off of Papelbon allowed the Padres to take a 10-6 lead.
On the season, Papelbon is 19-for-22 in save chances with a 4.18 ERA and a 30/12 K/BB ratio in 32 1/3 innings. If the season were to end today, the right-hander’s 21.4 percent strikeout rate would be the lowest mark of his career and his 8.6 percent walk rate would be his highest mark since 2010.
Manager Dusty Baker didn’t indicate that he’s going to make a change at closer, but he sounded dissatisfied with Papelbon’s performance thus far. Via Mark Zuckerberg of MASN, Baker said, “He doesn’t have his command, which is evident when you walk the leadoff hitter. But it’s like, what do you say? How does he look? Right now he doesn’t look like Pap. He doesn’t look very good. Usually he doesn’t walk people like that.”
The non-waiver trade deadline is on Monday, August 1. The Nationals, at 58-42, still have a four-game lead over the Marlins and a 4.5-game lead over the Mets. Tuesday’s loss has motivated the club to attempt to upgrade the bullpen, Jon Morosi reports. The Nationals were in the mix for Aroldis Chapman before the Yankees sent him to the Cubs. Perhaps Andrew Miller could be next on the Nats’ wish list.
The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday night that the club traded reliever Drew Storen and some cash to the Mariners in exchange for reliever Joaquin Benoit.
Storen, 28, was designated for assignment by the Jays on Sunday after posting a 6.21 ERA with a 32/10 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him during the offseason from the Nationals in exchange for Ben Revere and a player to be named later.
Benoit, 38, struggled as well, putting up a 5.18 ERA with a 28/15 K/BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings with the Mariners.