ARLINGTON -- This was not a normal night at the ballpark.
The crowd of 37,858 seemed subdued at times. Maybe it was because of the heat -- it was 105 degrees at first pitch -- or maybe everyone was still stunned by the tragedy of Thursday night, when a fan died falling from the left-field stands while catching a foul ball thrown to him by Josh Hamilton.
Michael Young said this weekend would be different because of the death of Shannon Stone, and he was right. Baseball moves on, and it did Friday night with the Rangers beating the Oakland A's, 8-5.
Hot, hot, hot:Game-time temperature was 105 degrees at first pitch. That's the highest temperature in stadium history. The previous high was 103 degrees when the Rangers played the Toronto Blue Jays on August 3, 2008. Vendors selling water made a fortune.
Josh Hamilton plays: Hamilton started in left field and batted third a night after the tragedy. He went 1-for-5 with a single and a run scored. He also tossed a few foul balls hit to left field to the ballgirl. In the sixth inning, Hamilton fouled a pitch off to the third base stands that injured a fan. The fan was hit in the head and needed medical attention. Rangers officials said it appeared the fan may need stitches.
C.J. Wilson pitches well in the heat:The left-handed ace pitched into the seventh inning for the 10th consecutive start in earning his ninth win of the season in steamy conditions. Wilson struck out eight over seven innings. He gave up four runs -- all earned -- on five hits. It was the most runs Wilson has allowed since he gave up four on June 21 against Houston. Wilson picked up a no-decision in that game. He got into serious trouble in the sixth inning. But after Oakland scored two runs, the last on a double by Josh Willingham, Wilson finished the inning with three strikeouts.
Early runs set the tone: This game was decided early when the Rangers scored five second-inning runs against Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez. The big blow came from Mike Napoli, who hit a grand slam to left field. It was Napoli's second career grand slam. The Rangers have hit two grand slams this season, Adrian Beltre hit the other.