Josh Hamilton working hard in cages

August, 18, 2011
8/18/11
10:00
AM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton didn't want to leave the batting cages on Tuesday until he felt like he was taking nice, easy swings and barreling the ball. After an hour with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, he felt better about his swing.

Then he went out and had, by his estimation, a "terrible" batting practice.

"I mean it was bad," Hamilton said. "So I said, 'You know what, I'll take what I worked on today and just relax and try to apply it to the game and see what happens.' "

The result was a three-hit night that included an opposite-field homer that made Hamilton smile. He's been working on going the other way and not feeling like he has to take a mighty whack to do it.

"I have to keep telling myself to do that," Hamilton said. "Just put the barrel on it and put a nice easy swing together. There's a fine line between a nice, easy swing and a lazy swing. That's hard to find that and stay there. I've been battling that all year, being too aggressive and then backing off too much."

He said taking the time in the cage to feel better helped, though he also admits that he may have pushed it and that could have contributed to his back spasms on Tuesday. But he got treatment and felt fine as he played in Wednesday's game.

"I just wanted to keep swinging until I felt like I was in a good spot," Hamilton said. "I wanted to take the 100 percent swing out of it because it's hard to make adjustments when you're going that hard. So we backed off to 60 or 70 percent, but everything being on time. It was better."

Hamilton is hitting .306 on the season with 15 homers and 68 RBIs. He has hit safely in 19 of his last 21 games and is 9-for-24 during his five-game hitting streak. Hamilton was 2-for-5 on Wednesday and drove in the club's first run of the game.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182