Angels slugger Josh Hamilton is only too aware of how disappointing his season has been. But for the second time in six weeks, he sent Angels fans home with a smile.
Hamilton drove an 0-2 pitch from Houston reliever Josh Fields into the right-field seats at Angel Stadium in the 10th inning Saturday night to give the Angels a 6-5 win over the Astros.
Fields "was trying to throw a curveball in the dirt, I'm sure, but just left it up and left it right down the middle," Hamilton said.
"When I first hit it, I wasn't sure if I got it because it wasn't absolutely flush," he said. "But as I was running and saw [Fields] look up, it was a good feeling."
Hamilton, 32, acknowledged he was trying to make something happen.
"You say you don't want to do too much in a situation like that, or any at-bat, but right there it was, OK, you've got a chance to do it" with a home run, he said.
"But if not, just try to barrel it," or square the barrel of the bat against the ball, "and hit something hard in the gap and get in scoring position," Hamilton said.
After signing a five-year, $125-million contract in December, Hamilton is batting .227 with 18 home runs and 59 runs batted in. The Angels are fourth in the American League West, 15½ games behind the first-place Texas Rangers.
"He's been searching all year for it, but that's what Josh can do," Manager Mike Scioscia said after Hamilton's homer.
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Indeed, Hamilton also hit a two-run, walk-off home run in the 11th inning July 6 at Angel Stadium to lift the Angels past the Boston Red Sox, 9-7.
Hamilton said games like those have helped get him through the dreary season.
"I've said before, you keep working hard," he said. "Especially with the way the season's going all the way around, it's been frustrating. Moments like that do help."