Moments before he made history with his final swing in an incredible four-homer performance, Josh Hamilton stepped to the plate in the eighth inning with a surprising sense of calm.The Texas Rangers slugger had never before hit more than two home runs in a game, and he already had three. So as he took his place in the batter’s box against Baltimore right-hander Darren O’Day, Hamilton already had a feeling of accomplishment.“I just went up like it was any other at-bat because if I don’t hit one,” Hamilton reasoned, “I’ve still had a really good night.”
It turned out to be unforgettable.Hamilton became the 16th player to hit four home runs in a game, launching a quartet of two-run drives against three different pitchers to carry the Rangers to a 10-3 victory Tuesday.Hamilton homered off Jake Arrieta in the first and third innings, added another off Zach Phillips in the seventh and topped it off with a one-for-the-books shot against O’Day. During the last at-bat, Hamilton took a mighty hack and missed, lined a foul into right-field seats and then sent an 0-2 pitch over the center-field wall.“Obviously it’s, other than being in the World Series, the highlight of my big-league career,” Hamilton said. “I was saying after I hit two I’ve never hit three in a game before, and what a blessing that was. Then to hit four is just an awesome feeling, to see how excited my teammates got.
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