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08/16/08 11:59 PM ET
Hamilton's catch saves shutout of Rays
Center fielder robs Tampa Bay's Zobrist in sixth inning
By Shaun Shroyer / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Through five innings, Matt Harrison and the Rangers clung tightly to a 1-0 lead. Considering the four home runs Tampa Bay hit the night before, the slim lead seemed to be living on borrowed time. Then Ben Zobrist sent a one-out drive to straightaway center field in the sixth that was destined to clear the wall. With one swing of the bat, it appeared Texas' lead would evaporate as easily as it was built. Josh Hamilton turned and sprinted for the wall, but even he wasn't sure if he could get to it. "You never know if you have a shot until you see how it unfolds," Hamilton said. But the wind held the ball up just long enough for Hamilton to gather himself at the warning track and make a leaping attempt to snag the would-be solo home run. Hamilton reached over the fence for the ball, and, for a moment, it was unclear as to whether the ball landed in his glove or on the other side of the wall. But soon enough Hamilton landed and put the ball on display to prove he had in fact pulled it in, and the Rangers went on to a 3-0 victory. "When he made that catch and pulled the ball down, I breathed a sigh of relief," Harrison said. "I knew they had my back and I kept attacking hitters."
Shaun Shroyer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.