Hamilton gets standing ovation in return to Texas
Rangers slugger rewards crowd with double in first at-bat, adds RBI single
ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton returned to his old ballpark on Thursday night and hit a first-pitch double in his first at-bat. In his final at-bat of the night, he had an RBI single to keep the Rangers from getting shut out.
That was about it for the Rangers' offensive highlights, as they returned to Arlington from a 7-2 road trip and opened a seven-game homestand with a 5-1 loss to the Red Sox.
The night will mainly be remembered for the overwhelming positive response and standing ovation Hamilton received prior to his first at-bat.
"It was awesome," Hamilton said. "It was a good feeling. I appreciated it a lot. I didn't know what to expect. To have the fans cheering and standing meant a lot. It brought back some good memories. Getting support from the fans makes you want to compete more and give them everything you've got."
Hamilton went 2-for-4 in his first game back with the Rangers in Arlington since 2012. He's 3-for-15 since being activated from the disabled list, which includes three games in Cleveland. He played Thursday with a bad cold, but there was no talk of holding him out of the game.
"Sometimes it makes you not do too much," Hamilton said. "It's over with. I can go home and get some rest and come out tomorrow and do it again."
The Rangers managed just three other hits against Red Sox rookie left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez and two relievers as they lost for the 11th time in their last 15 games at home. The Rangers' inability to win at home is annoying them.
"If I knew what it was, we would win," designated hitter Prince Fielder said. "Tonight, the other pitcher pitched a great game. Sometimes that's going to beat you."
Rodriguez, making his Major League debut, allowed just three hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out seven in the longest scoreless Major League debut by a Red Sox pitcher since Billy Rohr's near no-hitter in 1967.
Manager Jeff Banister said the Rangers need to start winning at home.
"It's our house," Banister said. "We've talked about it. We've got to put our anchor down and protect our house. We have to play well in our house, there's no question about that."