ARLINGTON, Texas — Josh Hamilton is keeping his approach simple for breaking out of a slide at the plate in the AL Division Series.
"I'm going to go home and take my girls fishing this afternoon," the outfielder said after Sunday's 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay, one of his former teams. "Get on a plane (today), go down, maybe swing some in the cage, maybe not, have dinner with my wife, and show up and get after it the next day."
That approach may be just what Hamilton and the rest of the Rangers offense need.
The Rangers are hitting .241 for the series, and surprisingly that number has been brought down by Hamilton, who won the AL batting title at .359.
The MVP candidate went 0-for-2 Sunday, dropping his series average to .143 (2-for-14). Hamilton, who walked twice, has a pair of singles and no RBIs in the series.
The last time he went without an RBI for at least four consecutive games in which he started was May 13-18, in five games against the A's, Blue Jays and Angels.
"It's easy to get caught up in wanting to make something happen in every at-bat," Hamilton said.
He missed almost all of September because of broken ribs.
"It's not an excuse, but he hasn't seen pitching in a while, and he is facing some pretty good pitching right now," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
The Rays have rarely shown Hamilton a fastball, and when they have, he hasn't timed it well. That was the case in his second at-bat Sunday. Starter Wade Davis threw Hamilton a fastball away, and Hamilton swung late and fouled it off. He ended up grounding out to second to end the inning with a runner on second base.
"Hopefully I learned from that," Hamilton said. "Four games of them doing that, something should click. … You can see, swinging at the curveballs inside, I'm trying to do too much instead of taking my walks like I probably could."
Hamilton is surprised the Rangers didn't match the intensity that they had on the road in two games at home.
"We were kind of waiting around for somebody to do something … instead of actually playing the game to that intensity," he said. "When you do that, things happen. We'll do it on Tuesday."