Josh Hamilton tied a major league record with four home runs and knocked in eight runs overall as the Rangers dominated the Orioles, 10-3, in the second game of a four-game set at Camden Yards on Tuesday.
Hamilton became the 16th player in MLB history -- sixth in the American League -- to accomplish the feat and first since Carlos Delgado did it on Sept. 25, 2003, for the Toronto Blue Jays against Tampa Bay.
Hamilton launched four two-run homers, scoring Elvis Andrus on each occasion. He finished the game 5-for-5 and set an AL record with 18 total bases in the game, one shy of the major league record of 19 set by Shawn Green when he also hit four homers on May 23, 2002 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"Obviously it's, other than being in the World Series, the highlight of my big-league career," said Hamilton. "I was saying after I hit two I've never hit three in a game before, and what a blessing that was. Then to hit four is just an awesome feeling, to see how excited my teammates got."
Adrian Beltre added a solo shot and scored twice while Neftali Feliz (2-1) fanned a season-high eight and allowed just one run on four hits with two walks over six innings to help the Rangers win consecutive games for the first time since April 24-25 of this season.
Jake Arrieta (2-3) was charged for six runs on nine hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings. Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy clubbed solo shots for the O's, who have dropped seven straight games to the Rangers.
"Obviously, Hamilton had a big night," remarked Baltimore manager Buck Showalter. "He's one of the best players in the game and you can see why."
The Rangers led 2-0 before the fans in Baltimore had time to settle into their seats as Andrus worked a one-out walk and Hamilton drilled his first homer of the night into center field to put Texas on the board.
Texas tacked on three more in the third as Andrus reached on a bunt single with two outs and Hamilton followed with his second two-run shot of the night. Beltre stepped to the plate next, sending a slider the opposite way over the wall in right to extend the margin to 5-0.
Baltimore finally broke through in the sixth when Endy Chavez opened the frame with a double into left field before coming around to score two batters later on a single from Markakis, bringing the O's within 5-1.
Andrus' one-out single in the seventh chased Arrieta from the game. His replacement, Zach Phillips, was greeted rudely by Hamilton, who sent his second offering over the center-field wall for his third two-run homer of the night and a 7-1 Texas lead.
A Nelson Cruz double later in the inning scored Beltre, who had singled, to make it an 8-1 contest.
Hamilton then tied the record in the eighth with a blast over the center-field wall, scoring Andrus for the fourth time, and making it a 10-1 game.
Baltimore opened the eighth with back-to-back homers from Hardy and Markakis to account for the final margin.
In his last six plate appearances, Hamilton has five home runs, a double and 10 RBI...Hamilton now leads the majors with 14 home runs on the season..Andrus extended his reaching base safely streak to 26 games with a walk in the first.