ARLINGTON, Texas(AP) With two smooth swings,
snapped out of his extended power drought.
Now, the slugger's re-emergence could be even more important to the
as they chase the AL wild card.
Hamilton homered twice after going 23 games and 99 at-bats without a long ball, leading Texas past the
Toronto Blue Jays
5-2 on Tuesday night for a doubleheader sweep tainted by All-Star third baseman
, who had a tiebreaking, two-run single to help the Rangers win the opener by the same 5-2 score, added a solo homer in the
nightcap along with an infield single that got
home from second base.
The Rangers gained a half-game in the wild-card race, moving within 3 1/2 of Boston. The
won 8-4 at Tampa Bay, which dropped 2 1/2 games behind Texas and six behind Boston.
An MRI is scheduled Wednesday for Young, who strained his left hamstring running out a grounder in the third inning of the
nightcap. He immediately knew something was wrong, pulling up just after crossing first base.
''It was a little bit of a shock,'' Young said. ''At this time of the season, missing one pitch kills me.''
Young is the longest-tenured Rangers player. He's in his ninth season and has never reached the playoffs with Texas.
The Rangers said Young would be re-evaluated after they receive test results. It was unclear how long he might be out.
''I'm optimistic,'' Young said. ''I'll be really aggressive with my treatment and try to get back on the field as quickly
as possible. Apart from that, I don't have too many answers right now.''
Hamilton hadn't homered since Aug. 7 until a 435-foot drive over the Rangers' bullpen in right-center on the first pitch of
the fourth. An inning later, Hamilton pulled a two-run shot down the right-field line.
''I certainly hope that it got him locked in,'' manager
Hamilton had a sense of humor about his drought.
''I was hoping I remembered how to jog around the bases. ... There was a sense of relief,'' said Hamilton, who has been on
the disabled list twice this season and has 10 homers. ''I was glad I proved myself, that I've still got game pop instead
of just batting practice pop.''
(6-2) pitched into the seventh inning in his first start since June 4. The right-hander was activated from the 60-day disabled
list (stress fracture in right shoulder blade) and allowed one run and three hits in 6 1-3 innings. He was pulled after
's RBI double.
saved both games, giving him 21 in 24 chances.
''It was a long day, especially when you don't score runs,'' said
, whose team won the series opener 18-10. ''You score 'em while you can. You can't split 'em up.''
Both homers by Hamilton came off rookie left-hander
''The second one wasn't a bad pitch, a fastball in. He just put a great swing on it,'' Tallet said.
Davis hit a two-out grounder in the fourth to first baseman Overbay, then beat Tallet to the bag for an infield single. Murphy
never stopped running to score from second.
Davis' 17th homer made it 5-0 in the sixth.
hit a leadoff homer in the opener, and the game was tied 1-all with two outs in the fourth when Davis singled home two runs
with a grounder that skipped under Overbay's glove.
(5-2) allowed two runs over six innings before hard-throwing rookie
struck out four in two perfect innings.
Three of the punchouts by Feliz were called third strikes with off-speed pitches, the last on
. After a 97 mph fastball whizzed by Hill's head, and he fell to the ground getting out of the way, Feliz snapped off a 79
mph breaking ball to freeze him for strike three.
''It's unbelievable. I was sitting on the training room table watching it,'' Nippert said. ''It's unreal, his stuff. I've
never seen anything like it. It's a lot of fun to watch.''
Feliz has 26 strikeouts and one walk in 11 appearances spanning 19 2-3 innings since being promoted to the majors Aug. 2.
The 21-year-old right-hander had a major league-best 0.51 ERA in August, and is now at 0.46.
Kinsler's seventh leadoff homer this season and 12th of his career, both Rangers records, came on the third pitch from rookie
Rzepczynski struck out a career-high nine in six innings, but also allowed eight hits.
homered and scored both Toronto runs. That came a day after Lind hit two homers with a career-high eight RBIs in the 18-10
NOTES: Kinsler has 29 homers and 28 stolen bases, just short of becoming the third second baseman in major league history
to join the 30-30 club. ... Young was 0 for 2 with two walks in the opener, ending his 18-game hitting streak, which had been
the longest active streak in the majors.