BALTIMORE (AP) - Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton will have to wait for another day to continue his assault on the Baltimore Orioles' pitching staff.
Less than 24 hours after becoming the 16th player in major league history to hit four home runs in a game, Hamilton was received an unexpected break when rain postponed Wednesday night's game between the Rangers and Orioles.
The game was delayed for more than an hour before officials decided on the postponement. It will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader on Thursday beginning at 4:05 p.m. The second game will not begin before 7:05, the starting time of Thursday's originally scheduled game.
Moments before the announcement, several Texas players ran from the outfield and slid across the tarp. Hamilton was among them.
``You've got to keep the game fun,' he said. ``It reminds you of why you started playing as a little kid. When we were little kids we weren't allowed to do that because you'd get in trouble.'
Hamilton had no complaints about the rainout, mainly because he would have been hard-pressed to come up with an appropriate encore.
``The expectations and everything, you can't do much better than that,' he said. ``Honestly, I hadn't been nervous for a game in a long time but I was a little nervous today. So maybe (the rainout) was a blessing in disguise.'
With Hamilton leading the way, Texas won the first two games of the series by a collective 24-6 score. Hamilton homered in his final at-bat Monday night before going 5 for 5 with four homers and a double on Tuesday in a 10-3 victory.
The Rangers have won seven in a row over Baltimore. The rainout came at a good time for the Orioles, who could only hope Hamilton's bat would be cooled by the time off.
Recalling the feeling he had at the plate in his record-setting game, Hamilton said Wednesday afternoon, ``You know when you're seeing the ball well and really putting the good part of the bat on the ball. That's what you feel. Everything kind of slowed down for me. You don't have to do much. Just put the barrel of the bat on the ball and it goes.'
The pitching matchup in Thursday's first game will be Wednesday night's starters: Texas right-hander Colby Lewis (3-1) against Wei-Yin Chen (2-0). In the nightcap, Derek Holland (2-2) of the Rangers will go up against Tommy Hunter, who will be recalled from Triple-A Norfolk after being sent down on Monday. Jason Hammel was slated to start Thursday for the Orioles, but he's been experiencing soreness in his right knee.
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