No Joshing: Rangers’ Hamilton hammers four two-run homers
Baltimore, MD, United States (AHN Sports) – Josh Hamilton became the 16th player to hit four home runs in a game, leading the Rangers assault with a quartet of two-run blasts against three different pitchers as Texas demolished the Baltimore Orioles 10-3 Tuesday night at Camden Yards.
It was the fifth multi-homer game for Hamilton, who belted for the first time four home runs in one game.
His record-setting night is the latest accomplishment in a stellar career that has been marred by drug use and alcoholism, but the AL MVP in 2010 looks much better this season that he did in 2010.
Though he had a relapse before this season, Hamilton got back his focus and is off to a torrid start.
During the month of April, he hit .395 with nine home runs and 25 RBI, a stellar performance that earned him the league’s AL Player of the month. His home run total for April tied a franchise mark for the month with four other Rangers.
On Tuesday, Hamilton became just the 16th player in Major League Baseball history to hit four home runs in one contest.
He also set a new AL record for most total bases in a game at 18, one shy of the major league mark of 19 set by Shawn Green when he also hit four homers on May 23, 2002 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hamilton, who had never before hit more than two home runs in a game, is the first player since Carlos Delgado to hit four home runs. Delgado did that feat for the Toronto Blue Jays on September 25, 2003 against Tampa Bay.
The Texas slugger’s stat line Tuesday was as follows: five at-bats, five hits, four home runs and a double with eight RBI.
The eight RBI are a new career high for the Hamilton, who will turn 31 on May 21.
Hamilton began his barrage in the first inning as he jumped on the first pitch by Orioles starter Jake Arrieta, sending it over the center-field wall for his 11th home run of the season.
Hamilton tacked his 12th dinger of the season in the third when he ripped an Arrieta sinker, crushing it into the seats in right-center field. He then added a double in the fifth also off Arrieta.
Hamilton, who is known to take first-pitch swings, extended Texas’ lead to 7-1 after smacking the second offering by Zach Phillips, Arrieta’s replacement, over the center-field wall for his third two-run blast.
He then tied the record in the eighth with another blast to center field wall, this time off Darren O’Day, and made it a 10-1 game.
Hamilton’s spectacular performance was further punctuated as he sent three of those four home runs to the deepest part of the field.
Over the last two games, Hamilton has five home runs, a double and 10 RBI in his last six plate appearances.
Hamilton also became the first player with extra-base hits in six straight at-bats since Ken Griffey, Jr., over July 1-2, 1998, and the first player with five home runs in six at-bats since Green on May 23-24 2002.
For the season, Hamilton leads the majors with 14 home runs. He is batting .406 and has knocked in 36 RBI.
Hamilton could extend his historical feat Wednesday when he faces for the first time Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen (2-0, 2.76 ERA).