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Exactly how long was Hamilton homer?

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Rangers got a second opinion on the distance of Josh Hamilton’s mammoth homer that landed in the upper deck of the home run porch during Sunday’s win over the Houston Astros.

The results will be announced to the media in front of the Rangers’ dugout at 3 p.m. Saturday.

University of Texas-Arlington physics professor Andrew Brandt agreed to study the homer and determine the official distance that will be recognized by the Rangers.

The homer was originally measured at an estimated 468 feet, a distance based on a booklet produced when the ballpark opened in 1994. That’s the second-longest shot in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington history, surpassed only by Jose Canseco’s 480-foot blast in 1994. An independent website estimated the Hamilton homer at 485 feet.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Brandt’s measurement is at least 481 feet. Why would the Rangers make a media event out of the announcement if Hamilton’s homer didn’t break the record?

Beltre gets ball Monday: Right-hander Omar Beltre will make his second major league start Monday against the Cleveland Indians.

Washington described Beltre’s big league debut as encouraging even though the Dominican Republic native lasted only four innings against the Angels, giving up three earned runs on five hits and four walks.

“He did a good job once he got past the adrenaline rush,” Washington said of Beltre, who gave up a homer to the first batter he faced and two more runs in the second inning. “He’ll be more relaxed the next time.”

Smoak drops in lineup: Rookie first baseman Justin Smoak will be penciled into the eighth spot in the Rangers’ lineup for the foreseeable future.

Smoak has only four hits in his last 32 at-bats – and none in his last 15 – but Washington said the drop in the lineup isn’t due to production. The manager just believes Bengie Molina, who had at least 80 RBI in the last three seasons, needs to hit sixth or seventh.

“Will he get an different pitches?” Washington asked about Smoak, answering his own question by shaking his head. “The team’s going to do the same things. He’s got to make adjustments.”