It's hard to suggest that there's ever a good time to face Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton.
But if there is, the A's might be catching the perennial All-Star at less than his best in the two-game series that begins Tuesday night in Oakland.
Sunday, after going 0-for-3 for the second day in a row, Hamilton admitted to the Dallas Morning News that he was looking forward to Monday's day off.
Hamilton said that he was fatigued from the All-Star Game. Since returning from the break he has gone 1-for-10 with six strikeouts and one RBI.
I didnt think I was that much tired until today, Hamilton told the paper. Im looking forward to Monday. I need to get back into a routine. You cant have a routine at the All-Star Game because there is so much going on. Hopefully, I can start hitting.
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Hamilton's 2-for-23 slump has dropped his average to a season-low .301 after being at a majors-best .404 in mid-May. he was the AL player of the month in both April and May.
"I've been struggling for the last month ... no excuses," Hamilton told the Rangers' official site. "Honestly I feel really good at the plate. Even before the All-Star Game and at the All-Star Game I had good at-bats, hitting the ball hard and hitting it right at people."
One thing that could be compounding his struggles at the plate is his attempt to quit chewing tobacco. He told reporters last month that he was trying to quit a 10-year habit.
Hamilton said hes now using toothpicks treated with tea tree oil, gum or sunflower seeds. In the first six games since he stopped, he struck out 14 times.
NOTES: The Rangers will be without former Giants catcher Yorvit Torrealba for the series with the A's. Torrealba returned to his home in Venezuela after Sundays game to be with his wife for the birth of their third child. Manager Ron Washington said that Mike Napoli, who bruised his knee last weekend, will be ready to go. As a precaution, the Rangers called up Luis Martinez from Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday. ... Texas plans to activate Colby Lewis (right elbow inflammation) on Wednesday to start against Oakland.