ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton said Friday he is still using the same bat that he used on Tuesday night to hit four home runs.
Hamilton said he's not ready to retire the bat even though he has a tendency to break them more than the average player. He also has a famous tendency to have his bats slip out of his hand and go flying into the stands."They put a sticker on the end of my bat, kind of saying that this one's done," Hamilton said. "But I'm still using it. Until it breaks."
Road warrior comes home: Andrus on roll
ARLINGTON -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus showed up at the Ballpark in Arlington on Friday with a 10-game hitting streak. During the streak, Andrus has hit .452 (19-for-42), with 10 runs scored and five doubles.The hitting streak was accomplished all on the road, and Andrus is hitting .380 this season away from home. Going into Friday, that was the third highest road batting average in the American League. Andrus hit .291 on the road last year, .268 in 2010 and .238 as a rookie in 2009. "There's not much difference, I'm just getting to know my swing more," Andrus said. "This is my fourth year. I have a little more knowledge of what pitchers are going to throw. My game plan is better and I can just go into a game trusting myself." The streak has raised Andrus' batting average to .323, seventh best in the AL going into Friday's games. He also has 17 walks, tied with Ian Kinsler for the most on the team. That gave him a .401 on-base percentage, also seventh best in the AL. He was tied for sixth with 22 runs scored. "I'm finding out what I'm capable of doing," Andrus said. "I want to hit .300, score 100 runs and steal 30 bases. It won't be easy, but that's what I'm shooting for."
Andrus promptly extended his streak to 11 games with a single in the first inning of Friday's game.
Washington on Wilson: He saved us
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington certainly had no hard feelings when C.J. Wilson signed with the Angels during the Winter Meetings. Washington congratulated his former pitcher by way of text message during the Meetings."Five or 10 minutes later he responded," Washington said. Wilson pitched for the Rangers from 2006-11. Under Washington, he served as setup reliever, closer and finally as a starter, winning 31 games for the Rangers over the past two seasons. He was the Rangers' Pitcher of the Year both times. "He was the guy who saved us a lot on all those day games when it was 110 degrees and he took it into the eighth inning," Washington said. "He saved us. I just wished him all the luck in the world. It happens in the game of baseball and people move forward. "We didn't always see eye to eye, but that's just baseball. That's his personality, and that's what I want out of my players. He's not always going to be politically correct, but that's all right. I said what I had to say and he said what he had to say, and then we moved along. Me and C.J. got along well."
Holland may move ahead of Lewis in rotation
ARLINGTON -- Colby Lewis has been pitching ahead of Derek Holland in the rotation so far this season. That may change the next time around.Since both pitched in Thursday's doubleheader against the Orioles, the Rangers have their choice of which one they want to pitch on Tuesday against the Royals and on Wednesday against the Athletics. The Rangers may use Holland against the Royals and Lewis against the Athletics. Lewis is 5-0 with a 2.85 ERA in his last seven starts against the Athletics going back to 2010. "We haven't talked about that yet," manager Ron Washington said. "We'll get together on that in the next day or so."
Rangers keep perspective for Angels series
ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton had trouble getting to his locker when he arrived at the Ballpark in Arlington on Friday because of all the media hanging out in the Rangers' clubhouse."Are we playing the Yankees?" Hamilton asked. No, the Angels. This is the first meeting this season between two teams that have been 1-2 in the American League West the past four years. But the Rangers aren't getting excessively excited about this even though it has been a matchup that people have looked forward to since the Angels signed pitcher C.J. Wilson and first baseman Albert Pujols last winter. "We recognize who we're playing, but this team, we have a lot of experience playing in big games," infielder Michael Young said. "This is a May game. We try to win every game, but we're not going to crank it up another notch just because of who we are playing." Wilson started against Yu Darvish on Friday, and a sellout crowd is expected for all three games. That will run the Rangers' streak of consecutive sellouts to nine. "We've played in a lot of big games over the last couple of years," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "This one's not that big of a game. It's going to be a lot of fun, no doubt about it. The crowd's gonna be into it. There's going to be a lot of excitement surrounding the pitching matchup, obviously, but as far as the team's concerned, it's about going out and winning a game and winning a series."
With left-hander C.J. Wilson on the mound, Washington went with his all right-handed lineup on Friday night. That meant Yorvit Torrealba at catcher and Mike Napoli at first base. Adrian Beltre, who still has the sore left hamstring, was back at designated hitter on Friday night. He played third base in Game 1 of the doubleheader on Thursday, but Washington wanted him at DH on Friday with the potential for bad weather. The Rangers landed a little after 2 a.m. CT on Friday morning after their doubleheader against the Orioles on Thursday night. There was little complaining about the travel. Said Washington, "I got a good night's sleep. I got in at 4, still got seven hours, had a good breakfast and I'm ready to go." Triple-A Round Rock infielder Yangervis Solarte took a 21-game hitting streak into Monday's game against Salt Lake, while Jurickson Profar had a 20-game hitting streak for Double-A Frisco.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.