Monday, September 5, 2011
Josh Hamilton improving during the day
By Richard Durrett
BOSTON -- With the Rangers up 6-0 in the sixth inning on Sunday at Fenway Park, Josh Hamilton took a few long strides to the plate and settled in.
"I just wanted to get a hit with some guys on base, you know?" Hamilton said. "I just feel like I haven't done that in a while."
The slugger belted a triple, clearing the bases and giving the Rangers a 9-0 lead. They went on to win the game, 11-4. The three-RBI triple was just the latest in a string of hits for Hamilton, who has finally figured out the best way to handle hitting in the day.
Much was made of his blue eyes and squinting issues under the bright sun. But Hamilton now has a routine he follows and it's made a difference. He uses some eye drops to help lubricate his eyes, helping him let in enough light to see, but not too much where he's blurry or a bit blinded. And he has a new pair of sunglasses that he's worn the past few months. The brand is Kaenon and he's found the proper tinting.
"I'm more comfortable up there and I'm picking the ball up," Hamilton said.
The numbers prove it. In day games in the second half of the season -- all on the road -- Hamilton is hitting .343 (12-for-35). He has had one day game off. The Rangers haven't played a day game in Arlington since the All-Star break.
Hamilton will get two more chances in the next three days as Monday and Wednesday are day games at Tropicana Field in Tampa. But those games are indoors, so maybe it won't feel much different from a night game. The good news for Hamilton: That doesn't seem to matter these days.