ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The way Angels manager Mike Scioscia looked at things, there really wasn’t anything unusual seeing Josh Hamilton playing for the other team.
“I don’t think any of us gave it a thought,” Scioscia said after the Angels’ 8-2 win at Texas on Friday night. “Really, we played against Josh for a long time, it’s not like this is something new. He’s been a Ranger longer than any other team he’s played with.”
Garrett Richards won his sixth consecutive start against Texas, Erick Aybar had his first five-hit game, and Kole Calhoun drove in four runs with a pair of early doubles in the Angels’ first game against Texas since trading Hamilton back to the Rangers.
“To me it was just another hitter, but obviously he used to be with us,” Richards said.
Hamilton, who insisted beforehand he had no extra emotions facing the Angels, went 1 for 3 with a double and two strikeouts - all against Richards (9-5), who struck out six and allowed one run over 7 2-3 innings.
Hamilton played only his 10th game this season for Texas, his third since being activated this week after a month on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain. He is hitting .303 (10 for 33) with two home runs.
His double was Texas’ third consecutive two-out hit in the sixth, following Prince Fielder’s double and Adrian Beltre’s RBI single. All that came when Richards had problems gripping his slider on a hot sticky night.
“I was sweating a lot, so I couldn’t really get a grip on my slider,” Richards said. “So I hung a couple and that obviously led to the run.”
Aybar’s second hit in the second inning was a two-run single that made it 6-0 before Hamilton even got an at-bat for Texas. Aybar also scored twice for the Angels, who matched a season high with 15 hits.
Rangers rookie right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-4) gave up six runs in 1 2-3 innings.
The Angels won for the fifth time in six games, a stretch when they have overtaken Texas for second place in the AL West.
Calhoun’s three-run double in the second ended an Angels slide of 25 hitless at-bats with runners in scoring position. He added an RBI double in the third on a play when leadoff hitter Johnny Giavotella was also thrown out trying to score from first.
Ryan Rua replaced Hamilton in the field to start the eighth, then homered leading off the ninth.
“We’re going to continue to evaluate that daily. We have to be mindful of how he comes out of it each game,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of Hamilton’s hamstring. “We wanted to make sure that lower half is OK and try not to push him too far.”
Hamilton didn’t appear in the clubhouse after the game.
Los Angeles traded Hamilton on April 27, after an offseason that included shoulder surgery and a self-reported substance abuse relapse. The 2010 AL MVP played only two seasons with the Angels after signing a $125 million, five-year deal during free agency after the 2012 season.
Hamilton said before the game he has moved forward since returning to the franchise he led to a pair of World Series appearances from 2008-12 when he was an All-Star each season.
“There’s no searching or closure for me. It’s over. I’ve moved on. I’m in Texas now,” he said. “I’ve got a great group of guys here. I had a great group of guys in Anaheim.”
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver (inflamed left hip) played catch on the field before the game. He is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, but manager Mike Scioscia said he will need a rehab start and likely won’t pitch for the Angels until after the All-Star break. … RHP Cory Rasmus (left abdominal surgery) came off the 60-day DL and was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake City, where he has been on injury rehab since June 19.
Rangers: Banister said OF Delino DeShields (left hamstring strain) has looked good in his rehab stint at Triple-A Round Rock. Banister said there is a chance DeShields could be back before the All-Star break.
Angels: Left-hander Hector Santiago (4-4) starts against Texas for the third time this season. He allowed only two earned runs in 12 1-3 innings in the first two games.
Rangers: Wandy Rodriguez (5-3) has won four of his last five decisions, but gave up a season-high eight runs in his last home start June 24 against Oakland.
Right-hander Nefali Feliz, the closer for both of the Rangers’ World Series appearances, was designated for assignment after throwing two scoreless innings. The move creates a spot on the roster for left-hander Matt Harrison to be activated from the disabled list Saturday. Feliz was 1-2 with six saves and a 4.58 ERA in 18 appearances this season.
The Rangers (41-40) played their 81st game, a night before Los Angeles (42-38) hits the midpoint of its season.
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