Hamilton, Cruz glad to be back

ARLINGTON, Texas-- Josh Hamilton’s first postgame comment to the media sounded like he was talking about a trip to the dentist instead of home run that had 30,861 fans on their feet.

“I’m glad to get it out of the way,’’ Hamilton said

Then he warmed to the moment. With reporters surrounding him at his locker following a 4-0 Rangers win, it was just like old times for the reigning American League MVP.

“I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I‘d be,’’ Hamilton said. “It was cool to see it go out. That’s why I was running a little faster around the bases. I wasn’t sure it was going out.‘’

In his first at-bat with the Rangers since April 13, Hamilton took at 0-1 pitch from John Danks over the right-field wall, a distance estimated at 358 feet.

Nelson Cruz, also making a return off the disabled list, added a two-run home run in the sixth.

The two sluggers' lockers are next to each other in the Rangers' clubhouse.

“Josh put the pressure on me,’’ Cruz said with a grin. “I had to do something.’’

Even before the homer, Hamilton was greeted with a standing ovation. He added a double in the eighth inning and finished 2-for-4.

Together, Hamilton and Cruz had a hand in all four runs.

Added Hamilton: "It's cool to be back, period. And to help out again.''