ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton extended his hitting streak to a career-high 21 games Sunday night against the Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The hit, a two-run homer to right field in his first at-bat, leaves him just seven shy of tying the club record of 28 consecutive games with a base hit, held by Gabe Kapler, who accomplished the feat in 2000. "Hitting home runs in the first one or two at-bats in the game are not good for me," Hamilton said. "Because then I'm going to try and hit one farther instead of being patient and hitting the ball hard somewhere.
"Maybe I need to start hitting them later in games." The 21-game hitting streak is also the longest streak in the Major Leagues this season, tied with Kansas City's Jose Guillen, who extended his streak on Sunday. "I don't think about it," Hamilton said of the streak. "I talk about it when [the media] wants to talk about it, then I put it out of my mind." The homer was the second-longest in stadium history at 468 feet. The longest was hit by Jose Canseco at 480 feet in 1994. In May of last season, Hamilton hit a 460-foot homer against the Angels, then the second longest in stadium history. "I got all of it," Hamilton said. "I see it go up, and I feel like it's going out and I put my head down and run. I don't watch it land. I let everybody tell me when I get back to the dugout." Said Rangers manager Ron Washington: "It looked like it would clear the whole stadium. He got through it pretty good. He jumped on the fastball before [Roy] Oswalt could do anything else and got him." In addition, Hamilton tied a club record for hits in a month with 47 alongside Mickey Rivers and Frank Catalanotto, who accomplished the feat in 1980 and 2001, respectively. Hamilton credits his recent surge to his improvement overall at the plate. "At first, it was trying to hit the ball harder," Hamilton said. "And that wasn't working too good. I wasn't doing bad, but it wasn't doing up to my standards, either. We revamped some things. I just want to put the barrel on the ball. And if I do that, I'll be successful more than not."