SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton has not allowed several nagging injuries to slow him this spring.
Hamilton hit his third home run in five days, a towering shot over the stadium's perimeter fence in right-center field, and the Texas Rangers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 Thursday night."He's a beast," Brewers starter Manny Parra said. "I rushed a little bit there, left the pitch over the middle and it was crushed."The game was played hours after Rangers manager Ron Washington admitted he used marijuana and amphetamines during his playing career. On Wednesday, it was revealed Washington failed a random drug test after using cocaine last July.Hamilton hit his first homer of the spring Sunday and connected for his second Wednesday. In between, he was hit on the hand by a pitch and had a tooth removed.Earlier this spring, Hamilton missed a week after sustaining a left shoulder bruise when he dived for a ball during a popup drill.Hamilton hit the first pitch he saw, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Texas added another run in the third and two more in the fifth against Parra, who is competing Dave Bush for a spot in the Milwaukee rotation."Actually I thought I threw the ball really well," Parra said. "The mistakes I made were in bad situations where I needed to make my pitch. But I think I threw the ball better today execution-wise than I did the last game and the one before that."Texas starter Tommy Hunter was scratched just before the game with a strained rib muscle. He was diagnosed with a strained left intercostal muscle and will be evaluated again on Friday."I certainly hope it isn't anything prolonged because there's a lot of competition going on," Washington said. "The way things are here in Texasland right now, if you go down you might not have a job when you get back."Hunter threw a pair of changeups that were hanging up in the zone. Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux told him to keep the ball down and "being as smart as I am, I threw another one," Hunter said. "This is a freak thing, I guess."Guillermo Moscoso started in Hunter's place, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts, but the pitching star for the Rangers was left-hander Matt Harrison.Harrison threw three scoreless inning, extending his spring scoreless streak to six, before allowing two runs on two hits in the eighth. He finished with three hits allowed and eight strikeouts, including five straight in the sixth and seventh innings."He was dealing," Washington said.
Parra threw 48 of his 68 pitches for strikes. Parra and reliever Marco Estrada combined to strike out four straight hitters in the fifth and sixth innings. Bush allowed one run on three hits over five innings with a walk and five strikeouts in the "B" game earlier Thursday. Though the numbers won't count, Harrison matched his career high for strikeouts.