New bat in hand, Hamilton aims to stay hot

New bat in hand, Hamilton aims to stay hot

New bat in hand, Hamilton aims to stay hot
ARLINGTON -- After Josh Hamilton hit .467 with nine home runs and 18 RBIs over his last seven games, it came as little surprise that he was named AL Player of the Week on Monday.

"I think he won that four days ago," Ian Kinsler said.

But Ron Washington, who remembered how long Hamilton stayed hot during his 2010 MVP campaign, wants him to keep it up for a lot longer.

"When he won MVP, he had a three-month run," Washington said. "I hope he has a three-month run again. He's such a quality player, and when he gets locked in, it's poetry in motion. And right now, he's locked in."

"It's good to have your manager expect a lot out of you," said Hamilton. "It makes you better as a player. "If he was content with me just showing up and going through the motions, the respect we have for each other probably wouldn't be at the level that it is. It's good to hear because I expect the same thing. We're on the same page."

The bat that Hamilton used to hit all but one of the nine home runs he had last week has been sent to the Hall of Fame. It cracked in his final at-bat Sunday night. After using a pink bat in honor of Mother's Day and breast-cancer awareness in his first four trips to the plate, Hamilton looked for a bat with a thinner handle, and his old bat was the only one he could find.

"I probably could have taped it up and kept using it, but she died a hero," Hamilton said. "The crack was near my hand and it was just a hairline crack."

Hamilton became the 16th player to hit four home runs in a game when he accomplished the feat Tuesday in Baltimore and extended his hit streak to 13 games, the second-longest of his career. With 16 games remaining this month, he is just one shy of the team record for most home runs in May.