Josh Hamilton tore Double-A pitching to shreds over the past week, hitting near .600 in his short four-game stint with Frisco before rejoining Triple-A Round Rock this weekend and then presumably the Rangers on Monday in Cleveland.
But he did something on Wednesday, in what should be his final Double-A at-bat, that he hadn't done yet since beginning this journey back to the Rangers after they acquired him from the Angels last month. He went yard, and it was a beauty.
Hamilton launched his first homer of this "rehab" stint into the pool in right field at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and after the game said he is no rush to join the Rangers with another brief stint with Triple-A Round Rock set for this weekend.
"They don't need to rush me back for anything," Hamilton told the Star-Telegram. "In the past, obviously, I would have forced the issue to get back, but I'm not forcing the issue now. Trying to grow up a little bit."
Hamilton admitted to swinging for the fences early in the game on Wednesday — a day that also saw Joey Gallo homer behind him — but the outfielder and former AL MVP said he relaxed his swing in the seventh, and the result was the two-run homer.
"I was trying to kill them, trying to hit a homer," said Hamilton, who turns 34 years old on Thursday. "Then I got a heater and grounded out to first. The next at-bat I was like, 'You know what, I'm just going to take a nice, easy swing if it's a pitch in the zone, and he kind of hung the slider and it was a good swing, so it felt good."