Hamilton extends streak to 23 in last at-bat
Rangers star hits ground-rule double in eighth inning
ANAHEIM -- Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton extended his career-best hitting streak to 23 games with a ground-rule double in the eighth inning of the Rangers' 6-4 win over the Angels on Wednesday.
The double, which was hit to left field against Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez, came in his final at-bat of the night. He grounded out in his first two plate appearances before being intentionally walked in the fifth inning.
Hamilton's 23-game hitting streak is also the longest in the Majors this season, and he's crushed the ball over that stretch with a .457 batting average (43-for-94) with nine homers and 29 RBIs.
Hamilton said it's the most locked in he's ever been.
"I've been on some streaks before, but they'd always end at like 13 or 14, and then I'd get a day and pick back up," Hamilton said. "It's never lasted this long, so I can't really compare it to anything."
He also set the Rangers' record for hits in a month with his 48th hit on Tuesday against the Angels when he went 1-for-5 with an RBI groundout. The new franchise record now stands at 49 after his ground-rule double on Wednesday.
He reiterated on Wednesday that much of the success has come because of a change in his batting practice approach, as he's no longer trying to put on a show by going for home runs on every single swing on the advice of hitting coach Clint Hurdle.
"I think that's helped me the most as far as the mental part of it is batting practice," Hamilton said. "I'm not trying to get too big or hit the ball too far. I'm just squaring the ball up because if I do that in batting practice it'll carry over to the game."
Kinsler's recent play impressing Washington
ANAHEIM -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said he's been impressed with the play of second baseman Ian Kinsler, who entered Wednesday's game having homered in two of his past three games.
The home runs have surprisingly been a rarity for Kinsler, who has just three on the season after hitting 31 last year. But Washington said he has noticed that Kinsler has stopped swinging for the fences and, as a result, it's led to two recent homers.
"I've seen him become a guy who isn't trying to hit home runs," Washington said. "Those two balls he hit, he wasn't trying to hit them, he just reacted to a ball in a certain spot. That's when he's going to start powering the ball out of the ballpark."
But even without the homers, Kinsler has been impressive offensively with a .294 batting average and a .387 on-base percentage after hitting .253 with a .327 on-base percentage last season.
"I think he's getting much more comfortable up there," Washington said. "I think he's satisfied if a pitcher doesn't throw to him, he'll take his walks. So now he can go up there and ambush, and if it's not there he doesn't have to force it."
Rangers hope to carry over June success
ANAHEIM -- June has been kind to the Rangers, as they entered the last day of the month with a Major League-best 20-6 record during the month.
Entering Wednesday, they also lead the Majors with a .313 batting average in June which is currently the fourth-best mark for a single month in franchise history.
Now the key, according to Rangers manager Ron Washington, is to keep that momentum going into July and beyond.
"If I had the formula it'd be awesome, but we don't have a formula," Washington said. "Everyone in the lineup just has to continue to their job and can't try to do someone else's job and that's the bottom line. Consistency -- that's what it is."
But while the offense has helped carry the load, Washington has been even more impressed with his pitching staff, which has a 3.38 ERA in June, second only to the Padres.
"I knew we had offense," Washington said. "I've seen guys do that before so it's not a big deal. But to maintain stability you have to pitch every night and catch the ball."
Sore knee keeps Treanor out of lineup
ANAHEIM -- Catcher Matt Treanor was held out of the Rangers' starting lineup on Wednesday with a sore knee after fouling off a pitch on his knee during the sixth inning of Tuesday's 6-5 loss to the Angels.
Max Ramirez started in his place and batted eighth in the lineup and is also expected to start in the series finale on Thursday.
"His knee had something to do with it," manager Ron Washington said of the decision to rest Treanor. "He's available and he wanted to play, but you have to protect Matt from Matt. He's a gamer and wanted to go out there."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.