Josh Hamilton worried about the reception he'd receive when he returned to Arlington after signing a $125 million contract to join the Los Angeles Angels.
Despite a self-admitted relapse that led to a tense breakup culminating with him being traded back to the Texas Rangers, Hamilton says he has no anxiety over how the fans will treat him in his return to Anaheim on Friday night.
Hamilton won the 2010 AL MVP when he helped guide the Rangers to the first of back-to-back World Series appearances. After Texas lost the wild-card game in 2012, he bolted for a five-year contract with the Angels and hit .255 in two disappointing seasons.
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He avoided suspension following a relapse with drugs and alcohol in February, but Angels owner Arte Moreno was determined to rid the club of Hamilton's contract before he could return from offseason shoulder surgery.
Hamilton is hitting .237 with three homers in 21 games since the Rangers (45-49) re-acquired him April 27 for future considerations, with the Angels paying a huge portion of the money remaining on Hamilton's deal.
He doubled and struck out twice in his only game against Los Angeles on July 3, an 8-2 loss in Arlington.
"I don't hold grudges or sit and think about what kind of bad relationships or bad experiences I have had," Hamilton told MLB's official website. "When I was there, I tried to do everything I could to be the player they expected me to be. Once I'm not there, I'm done with it. I have a lot of other things to think about."
The Angels (54-41) don't seem to miss Hamilton, either. They sit atop the AL West and had won seven in a row before losing 3-0 to Minnesota on Thursday.
Los Angeles has won seven of the nine meetings with the Rangers, beating Colby Lewis (9-4, 4.63 ERA) twice.
Lewis has lost his last six starts against the Angels with an 11.35 ERA, giving up at least seven earned runs three times. He allowed 10 runs and 12 hits - including a homer to Albert Pujols - in four innings of a 12-6 loss July 5.
The right-hander has been solid since that outing, giving up three runs over seven innings in the Rangers' 6-5 loss to San Diego on July 11 and allowing two runs in 7 1-3 of Saturday's 7-6 win at Houston.
Pujols is 9 for 20 with three homers, Kole Calhoun is 9 for 19 with a home run, triple and two doubles, and Mike Trout is 9 for 24 with two homers and two triples off Lewis, who looks to help the Rangers win their third straight.
Elvis Andrus hit a two-run single in the ninth to give Texas a 10-8 win over Colorado on Wednesday. Rougned Odor went 3 for 4 with a homer and finished 12 for 28 with seven extra-base hits during the Rangers' six-game road trip.
Monday's doubleheader sweep of Boston put a wrinkle in the Angels' rotation, giving Nick Tropeano a chance to make his first start since his season debut April 23. He allowed five hits in six innings of a 2-0 win over Oakland before being sent back to Triple-A Salt Lake City the following day.
The right-hander went 1-2 with a 2.63 ERA in five minor league starts after returning from shoulder fatigue that kept him out a month.