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May 09, 2012

Wednesday pregame Rangers notes: Josh Hamilton focused on now

Much of the scrum with Josh Hamilton the day after his four-homer game centered on his future beyond this season. He continues to insist that he doesn't have any idea what's going on with the negotiations, which have been on-going. There wasn't a sudden rush to negotiate today, contrary to one Internet report this morning. The only thing Hamilton said, which he has said throughout this process, is that he will go wherever God wants him to go.

Hamilton didn't really have much new to say about his performance Tuesday. He said it has been left in the past and that his mindset tonight against lefty Wei-Yin Chen is the same as any other pitcher he's seeing for the first time: try to figure out in the first at-bat what the pitcher is trying to do, and then adjust.

He did take time to speak to right-hander Darren O'Day, who served up No. 4 with what he called the "worst pitch my life." Hamilton said that he thanked him for it, but was also appreciative that the Orioles didn't pitch around him. Elvis Andrus was on first base, and it was 8-1 at the time. The game didn't dictate a walk. O'Day was ahead in the count 0-2 before completely missing his spot.

Manager Ron Washington said that Adrian Beltre will be the Rangers' starting third baseman Thursday assuming the weather is dry. The forecast Washington saw for tonight had rain in it, so Beltre is the DH for a third straight game. Washington sensed that Beltre was running better Tuesday than he had Monday.

Right-hander Neftali Feliz would have been the story of Tuesday's game if not for Hamilton. Feliz allowed one run in six innings and walked only two after walking six in his previous start. He said that he worked on his fastball command during his between-starts bullpen session, and made a slight mechanical adjustment to clean things up.

-- Jeff Wilson

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