These AL West rivals will continue this four-game set Friday night after a fan died in a fall during the opener while trying to grab a ball tossed into the stands by Hamilton.
Hamilton was unwittingly involved in the shocking tragedy in the second inning of Thursday’s 6-0 Texas victory. The fan eventually died after falling about 20 feet while reaching over a rail attempting to catch a baseball the left fielder tossed his way.
“We spoke to the ballclub, they understood what has happened and we spoke to Josh,” team president Nolan Ryan said. “I think as any of us would be, Josh is very distraught over this, as the entire team is.”
The Rangers clubhouse was closed to reporters after the game.
Hamilton, the reigning AL MVP, drove in four runs Thursday and was selected earlier this week to start his fourth consecutive All-Star game. Manager Ron Washington said he would wait before determining if Hamilton will play Friday.
“I think we’ll deal with that … when he gets here, to see how he feels,” Washington said.
Hamilton is 9 for 24 with two homers and 10 RBIs on this homestand for Texas (48-41), which is seeking a fifth straight win.
Michael Young(notes) homered Thursday to continue his hot hitting against Oakland, improving to 11 for 27 with 10 RBIs in the season series. His string of three consecutive three-hit games was snapped, although he is still batting .426 with five homers over his last 15 contests.
Oakland (39-50) has totaled five runs over its last four games. Josh Willingham(notes) had a single in four at-bats in his return after being out since June 17 due to a strained left Achilles’ tendon.
Wilson is 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA in his last eight outings. He yielded two runs over 7 1-3 innings Sunday before Texas’ bullpen and defense struggled late in a 6-4 loss to Florida.
This will be his third 2011 start against Oakland after posting a 4.50 ERA and walking eight in losing the first two. Willingham went 3 for 7 with a homer against Wilson in those games.
Wilson is 15-4 with a 3.58 ERA over the last two years at home. The 15 home wins are tied for the fifth-most in the majors in that span.
Gonzalez is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 34 strikeouts in his last four starts. He yielded one run over seven innings in Sunday’s 7-2 victory over Arizona hours after he learned he made the All-Star team.
“I didn’t want to get over-excited,” Gonzalez said. “It’s always been a secret goal for myself. I just want to enjoy the moment and move forward to get myself ready for my next start.”
Gonzalez is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in seven starts against the Rangers, although those numbers would be worse if not for some bad weather May 11 in Arlington. He gave up seven runs in 2 2-3 innings that day - including a grand slam to Mitch Moreland(notes) - but the game was rained out before it became official. It was made up Thursday.