After mini-surge, Hamilton returns to No. 3 spot

After mini-surge, Hamilton returns to No. 3 spot

ARLINGTON -- For the first time in five games, Josh Hamilton batted third Wednesday night.

Hamilton was back in his usual spot in the Rangers' lineup after sitting out one game and spending the next three in what he called the "magic 5-hole." While batting fifth, Hamilton had four hits in 10 at-bats -- including his 29th home run Monday -- scored four runs, drew two walks and did not strike out.

"He's our No. 3 hitter," manager Ron Washington said. "He's doing what he needs to be doing and recognizing pitches, so I want to get him going. When I put him fifth, it gave him an opportunity to think about some things. When he was in the third slot and things were going bad, he wasn't thinking. The fact that he wasn't there in the third slot made him think."

Before moving to the fifth spot in the lineup, Hamilton was hitting .190 with seven home runs, 26 RBIs and 56 strikeouts since the beginning of June. He batted .344 with 12 home runs and 32 RBIs in May.

"I'm just in a good position to make swings," Hamilton said. "That's what you want. It doesn't really matter about the result. I feel good as far as taking pitches, seeing pitches, and making sure you don't swing at bad ones, making sure you get strikes."