Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton had a night for the ages on Tuesday. On Wednesday, though, he got a rest. Tonight, the Rangers complete a four-game set with the Baltimore Orioles with a doubleheader at Camden Yards.
The double dip was made necessary when Wednesday's contest was washed out because of rain. This is also Texas' only visit to Baltimore this season.
Even with the rain, though, the baseball world was still buzzing from Hamilton's amazing night in the second game of this series when the former American League MVP tied a major league record with four home runs and knocked in eight runs overall as the Rangers beat the O's for the seventh straight time in a 10-3 win.
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.
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.
"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."
Heading to the hill in game one for the Rangers will be Colby Lewis, as he hopes to bounce back from his first loss of the season. Lewis fell to 3-1 on Friday in Cleveland, as he allowed six runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings, ballooning his ERA more than a run to 2.97.
Lewis has faced the Orioles six times (four starts) and is 1-3 with a 5.53 ERA.
"It doesn't matter, you still have a job to do," Lewis said. "If it didn't happen today, you just go do it tomorrow."
Baltimore, meanwhile, will turn to Taiwanese righty Wei-Yin Chen, who is 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA. Chen did not get a decision on Friday in Boston, as he surrendered four runs (three earned) and five hits in five innings of a 6-4 win.
Chen has never faced the Rangers, who will use Derek Holland in the nightcap.
Holland did not get a decision on Saturday in Cleveland, but put forth his best effort of the season, as he allowed one earned run and five hits in 7 1/3 innings of a 5-2 win. He is 2-2 on the year with a 4.43 ERA.
Holland is 1-1 in three games (two starts) against the Orioles with a 5.11 ERA.
Baltimore will have to make a roster move to get righty Tommy Hunter on the roster so he can start game two. Hunter was sent to Triple-A on Monday and can only be recalled in an injury situation to avoid the minimum 10-day stay in the minor leagues after having been optioned.
Hunter, who pitched the first three-plus years of his career for Texas, has made six starts this season and is 2-1 with a 5.00 ERA.
The Rangers won their final five meetings with the Orioles last season, scoring 13 runs three times over that span.