Hamilton makes return to Arlington

Josh Hamilton returns to Arlington on Thursday when the Texas Rangers welcome the Boston Red Sox for the start of a four-game series.

Hamilton re-debuted with the Rangers earlier this week after being acquired from Los Angeles following two unsuccessful seasons with the Angels, as well as a self-reported relapse with drugs and alcohol.


"I'm looking forward to being back in the area and in the ballpark and playing in front of Rangers fans again," said Hamilton. "I don't think any nerves will be there, but you never know. It's just good to be back in the flow of things with my teammates here."

The former AL MVP had his first hit since re-joining the Rangers on Wednesday, but it was nowhere near enough, as Texas saw its season-long, seven-game winning streak come to an end with a 12-3 drubbing in Cleveland.

Still, the Rangers ended a nine-game road trip with just two losses and have pulled within one game of .500 (23-24).

Texas stands a good chance at getting back into the win column on Thursday, as they'll hand the ball to righty Nick Martinez, who is 4-0 with a 1.96 ERA. Martinez won his second straight start on Saturday in New York, as he held the Yankees to a pair of runs - two solo home runs - in seven innings.


Going back to last year, Martinez has also allowed three earned runs or fewer in 15 straight starts. That ties for the longest such streak in club history with Rich Hand, who did so in 1972.

Heading to the hill for the Red Sox on Thursday will be left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who will be making his major league debut.

Rodriguez, who'll be trying to become the first Boston starter to win in his debut since Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2007, is 4-3 with a 2.98 earned run average in eight starts for Pawtucket. Over 48 1/3 innings, he has allowed 46 hits and struck out 44.

"We're running through a stretch of 20 consecutive games played, so we're building in a sixth starter through this time through the rotation," Boston manager John Farrell said.

Boston enters this series having lost six of eight after a three-game sweep at the hands of the red-hot Minnesota Twins.

"You always want to win, so it's frustrating when we're not getting those Ws we should be getting. It's a long season, and we're still going," said catcher Blake Swihart.

Texas took two of three from the Red Sox to start its nine-game trip.



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