Josh Hamilton ditches shades, struggles

July, 21, 2011
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- As far as Josh Hamilton is concerned, day games are for the birds. The Rangers slugger continued his struggles under the sun, going 0-for-3 after a lead-off walk in Thursday's 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Hamilton twice grounded out with a runner on first base, once in the third with two outs and then again in the eighth inning after Elvis Andrus became the first Rangers hitter to lead off an inning by getting on base. Hamilton chopped one to first base and the Angels forced Andrus at second.

Hamilton entered the game batting .117 this season in 17 day games. He vowed to wear sunglasses at the plate for the first time, something he doesn't like to because he says it affects his depth perception. After three at-bats wearing sunglasses, he ditched them for his final at-bat, saying his eyes felt relaxed and well-adjusted to the daylight and he no longer needed them.

Although thoroughly frustrated by this unending situation, Hamilton kept a sense of humor about it, which is really all he can do at this point. He said maybe he's squinting too much.

"The less your eyes open the less you can see," Hamilton said. "Is that a Yogi-ism?"

Hamilton did say he thinks he's continually seeing the ball better in daylight. He came into this game encouraged by his last two day games against the last two Sundays against Oakland and Seattle, despite going 1-of-7 with three strikeouts. Hamilton started using eye drops and eyelid scrubs the night prior to day games to wipe away sweat that can dry on the eye overnight and affect the cornea the following day.

"It was good," Hamilton said of his at-bats Thursday. "I saw the ball well."

It's not as though Hamilton struggled alone against Angels ace Jered Weaver, the major-league ERA leader who now stands at 1.81 after his seven-inning shutout.

Weaver scattered seven hits with the first six coming with two outs. Elvis Andrus managed three hits, but Ian Kinsler (0-4), Hamilton (0-3, walk), Adrian Beltre (1-4), Michael Young (0-3, walk) and little doing.

* Andrus doubled in the first inning, but with one out and two runners on, he was caught stealing third base. Manager Ron Washington said he didn't mind that Andrus attempted to steal third on his own with Beltre at the plate. Andrus said he believes he was safe on the play, saying Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo never tagged him. Beltre struck out to end the inning with Hamilton at second.



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Alex Rios
.333 1 10 8
HRP. Fielder 2
RBIA. Rios 10
RE. Andrus 11
OPSS. Choo .895
WM. Perez 3
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23