Hamilton, Wilson Lead Rangers Past Angels, 6-2 - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Hamilton, Wilson Lead Rangers Past Angels, 6-2



    Hamilton, Wilson Lead Rangers Past Angels, 6-2
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    Josh Hamilton looked ready for the playoffs.

    Hamilton hit his first homer in more than a month and had three RBIs, C.J. Wilson pitched five effective innings and the AL West champion Texas Rangers tuned up for the postseason with a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.

    Hamilton's two-run drive in the fifth off Ervin Santana (17-10) was his 32nd homer of the season, matching a career high and giving Texas a 3-2 lead.

    Hamilton, who leads the majors with a .360 batting average, went 2 for 4 as the designated hitter in his second game back after missing 24 with two broken ribs.

    "I felt good. I felt calm," said Hamilton, who reached 100 RBIs for the season. "The result was there tonight."

    The slugger grounded sharply into a double play in the first, lined out to center in the third, then ripped a 1-1 pitch into the right-field seats for his first homer since Aug. 29 against Oakland.

    Hitless in three at-bats in his return Friday night, Hamilton added a sacrifice fly in a three-run seventh as the Rangers stretched their advantage to 6-2.

    Nothing Hamilton does surprises Texas manager Ron Washington.

    "It takes a guy with less talent maybe 15 or 20 at-bats," Washington said. "With Ham, he had three last night and his second one today he was locked in. We're so happy to have him back."

    Michael Young, who went 3 for 4, had a sacrifice fly in the fifth to open Texas' scoring.

    Peter Bourjos led off the game with a triple and the first five Angels reached base against Wilson. Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead on RBI singles by Torii Hunter and Howie Kendrick.

    But Wilson (15-8) settled down to retire 15 of his next 16 hitters.

    "It's great to come back and finish after a rough start," Wilson said. "I made the adjustment and steered my way through a pretty good lineup."

    Neftali Feliz got three outs for his 40th save in 43 chances, extending his major league rookie record.

    Wilson, scheduled as Texas' No. 2 starter in the first round of the playoffs against Tampa Bay or the New York Yankees, allowed two runs and four hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

    Santana gave up five runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings. He'd won nine of his previous 11 decisions and was 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA in his first three starts against Texas this season.

    "He had a terrific season for us," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's a shame he couldn't finish better. He battled and gave us a chance but he couldn't make some pitches in the fifth."

    The Angels (79-82) are assured their first losing season since 2003.

    Texas (90-71) will fall short of the goal of 92 wins set by team president Nolan Ryan before the season.

    "We missed the prediction of 92, but 90 sounds better than 89," Washington said.

    Game Notes: 

    • Hamilton also had 32 homers for Texas in 2008.
    • Rangers 1B Jorge Cantu was back with the team after missing a game due to the flu, but 1B Chris Davis was still out with the same illness.
    • Texas OF David Murphy reported some improvement with his strained left groin as he tries to get ready for the playoffs. Murphy said the real test will come next week when he tries to run full speed. "I'm cautiously optimistic," he said.
    • RHP Dan Haren will make his scheduled start for the Angels on Sunday. There'd been concern over Haren's workload of 222 innings, but Haren said he feels strong.
    • Washington will go with a seven-man bullpen for the playoffs, and he said three spots have yet to be decided. Right-handers Feliz, Darren O'Day and Alexi Ogando are locks along with lefty Darren Oliver.