Defensive difference: Hamilton climbs wall


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers fans hold their breath when Josh Hamilton has to go into a wall to make a catch.

Walls have not always been kind to the Texas outfielder. A run-in with a wall in Minneapolis last season caused a rib injury that shelved Hamilton for the better part of a month.

But with a berth in the World Series at stake, Hamilton challenged the left field wall at Rangers Ballpark and came away with the leaping defensive play of the night in Texas’ 15-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 6 of the ALCS.

Hamilton began Game 6 in center field, but moved over to left in the fourth inning after Craig Gentry pinch hit for starting left fielder Endy Chavez.

Ryan Raburn drilled an 0-2 pitch off reliever Scott Feldman, but Hamilton's speed allowed him to get to the wall and gather himself for a leap.

Once Hamilton secured the catch of Raburn’s deep drive to end the top of the fifth, Detroit’s hopes for a comeback grew fainter.

One batter earlier, Detroit whittled a seven-run Rangers lead to five with a two-run homer by Austin Jackson, chasing starter Derek Holland.

Another important element to Hamilton’s catch. Waiting on deck was Miguel Cabrera, who had already homered in the first inning and added another in the eighth.