is heating up.
The timing couldn't be better for the
Hamilton had four hits Thursday, including the go-ahead two-run double in the third inning, leading Texas to a 4-1 victory
The All-Star outfielder hit .486 with a homer and eight RBIs on the Rangers' 10-game trip, raising his average from .220 to
.260. More importantly, he's hitting his stride just as Boston comes to town for a three-game series with major playoff implications.
''He looked liked
to me,'' Texas manager
said. ''He's spraying the ball everywhere. As long as he's spraying the ball all over the ballpark, that's Josh.''
The Rangers, who went 5-5 on the trip, trail the
by a half-game in the American League wild-card race.
''We always look forward to Boston,'' Hamilton said. ''They've been good for a few years. Everybody gets fired up for the
guys who've been there the last couple of years.''
''It's an important series,'' Washington added. ''We want to win the series, just like they want to win the series. They know
how to win. They've been around. They're not going anyplace.''
(12-4) worked out of trouble several times after allowing a first-inning run in winning his third straight start. The right-hander
gave up one run in six innings and struck out six to improve to 8-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 10 road starts this season.
Texas pitchers dominated the series after the Indians scored five runs in the third inning Tuesday night against
. The Rangers held the Indians to one run - which came on Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly Thursday - in the final 23 innings
of the series.
''Their pitching the last couple of days has been very good,'' Indians manager
said. ''They've always hit, but the difference this year is their pitching. They shut us down.''
Hamilton's double off
(4-8) gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead. He also had an infield hit in the first and turned what appeared to be a routine single
into a double by hustling into second base in the sixth. Hamilton's effort resulted in a run when he advanced to third on
a hit and scored on
's sacrifice fly.
Hamilton added a single in the eighth and is batting .522 (12 for 23) with six RBIs in six games against the Indians this
Hamilton, who also had a two-run double to left in Wednesday night's 5-0 win, attributes his recent success to using the whole
''I haven't done it in awhile,'' he said. ''I've been trying to get out and hit the ball instead of letting the ball get to
me. When you do that, you can't hit the ball effectively to the opposite field.''
After batting .304 with a league-best 130 RBIs in 2008, Hamilton didn't let this season's struggles become a negative.
''It's easy to get down and give up when things aren't going well,'' he said. ''I'm glad I didn't get to that point.''
Hamilton was 9 for 12 with four doubles in the series.
''He's obviously a very talented player and when he puts the bat on the ball, things happen,'' Sowers said. ''He obviously
had a really good series against us.''
Feldman, who is tied for second in the AL in wins, allowed seven hits and threw 108 pitches.
''I didn't have any quick innings,'' he said, ''but I was able to make quality pitches with runners in scoring position.''
pitched the ninth for his 15th save and his first since July 10. He was on the disabled list for three weeks with pneumonia.
relieved Feldman in the seventh and struck out the first five hitters he faced before
grounded out. Feliz also struck out the last two Angels hitters he faced Aug. 7, tying him with Hall of Famer and team president
for the club record with seven straight strikeouts.
added a solo homer in the fourth, his fifth of the season.
, who entered the game in a 1-for-18 slump, singled with one out in the third and took third on
' two-out double. Hamilton's hit toward the line fell in front of a diving
in left field.
(left hamstring) was 0 for 2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch in the first game of his rehab assignment at Double-A Frisco.
He's scheduled to be activated Friday. ... SS
extended his hitting streak to eight games. He's batting .433 (13 for 30) in the streak. ... RHP
, acquired from Boston in the
trade, will make his second start for the Indians in Minnesota on Friday night.