Hamilton homers again, Rangers lose 4-2 to Angels

Josh Hamilton left Angels starter C.J. Wilson shaking his head.

The Texas Rangers slugger has done that to a lot of pitchers lately.

After striking out in his first two at-bats Saturday, Hamilton hit his ninth homer in six games, a game-tying solo shot in the sixth that left Wilson with a no-decision against his former team even though Los Angeles rallied for a 4-2 victory.

"C.J. did a good job. He's one of those guys you don't know what he's going to throw. He really doesn't follow any kind of pattern or get into a routine," Hamilton said. "Pitchers make mistakes sometimes and when they do, you gotta take advantage of it."

After Wilson walked his first two batters while becoming the first major leaguer since 2002 to start consecutive games, he struck out Hamilton in the first before Adrian Beltre grounded into an inning-ending double play. Hamilton struck out again in the fourth.

But Hamilton, who hit two homers Friday night and four on Tuesday night in Baltimore, went deep again in the sixth for a 2-2 tie.

"I wish the game was that easy," manager Ron Washington said. "Josh makes it look that easy, but it's really not."

Hamilton leads the majors with a .402 average, 18 homers and 41 RBIs.

"Same old stuff, not trying to do too much. ... No thinking, just reaction," Hamilton said. "It's been a good week. I'm thanking God for it. I'm trying to stay out of the way and think as little as possible and go out there and just go. Just ride it while it's going."

After the rain-interrupted series opener when he faced only five batters against his former team, Wilson worked into the sixth inning Saturday.

"I did a lot of homework and stuff, and wanted to put it to use," said Wilson, insisting that it wasn't personal facing the team he pitched for in the last two World Series.

Wilson was gone before Kendrys Morales had a pinch-hit, tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh.

David Carpenter (1-1) faced only two batters after replacing Wilson with two outs in the sixth. Ernesto Frieri, acquired from San Diego on May 3, worked 1 2-3 innings and Scott Downs got the final out for his third save.

The second game of the series was the earliest ever at the 18-year-old Rangers Ballpark. The 12:07 p.m. start came only 12 hours after Friday night's game ended.

Mark Trumbo had a towering two-run homer for the Angels in the fourth off Matt Harrison (4-3), who had five strikeouts and two walks in six-plus innings.

After Trumbo walked and Howie Kendrick reached on a bunt single to chase Harrison, Peter Bourjos bunted for a hit to load the bases. Morales then hit a flyball to left for a 3-2 lead, John Hester had an infield single and Mike Trout added another sac fly.

"Kendrick laid down a perfect bunt. It surprised me a lot," Harrison said. "I was ahead of (Trumbo) and didn't put him away and gave him a chance to start a big inning right there. It's tough to watch. They were playing small ball there and they executed to a 'T'. You have to give credit to them."

In his return to Texas, Wilson threw only 22 pitches Friday night before a one-hour, 56-minute rain delay in the first inning of the Rangers' 10-3 victory. The left-hander was charged with four runs after allowing three infield singles and a walk, but didn't return once the rain stopped.

Wilson, who signed as a free agent last winter with his hometown Angels, bounced an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the fifth that hit Mike Napoli, the catcher whose phone number Wilson put on Twitter as a prank during spring training. Brandon Snyder and Craig Gentry followed with consecutive singles to cut the gap to 2-1.

Wilson struck out four and walked three, while allowing two runs and five hits on 93 pitches in 5 2-3 innings.

The last major leaguer to start consecutive games was Aaron Myette for Texas on Sept. 3 and 4, 2002, at Baltimore. Myette was ejected from the first game after only two pitches. It was the first time an Angels pitcher started back-to-back games.

Notes: Rangers SS Elvis Andrus was called out twice on close plays at first base. At the end of the seventh, he slammed his helmet to the ground and screamed at first-base umpire Dan Belino. He wasn't ejected. ... Opposing RHPs were 0 for 28 against Texas reliever Alexi Ogando before Bourjos' bunt in the seventh. ... Both teams wore replica 1974 uniforms. The Rangers are marking their 40th anniversary in Texas. Jeff Burroughs, the 1974 AL MVP for Texas, took part in the first-pitch ceremony. ... The last Texas home game that started earlier was April 18, 1992, a 12:03 p.m. game against Oakland at old Arlington Stadium. ... The Rangers had their eighth consecutive sellout.