Josh Hamilton stops overthinking, breaks out

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton looked like, well, Josh Hamilton from April and May in Thursday's 15-9 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

His timing was better. He recognized breaking pitches and hit them. He came up with key clutch hits when his team needed them.

And through it all, Hamilton worked on trying to quit overanalyzing his swing and approach and just react to what the pitcher gave him.

"Basically, I just said, 'You know what? Stop thinking about it. Stop listening to everybody -- everybody's got something to say -- and just go up there and play,' " Hamilton said. "[Try to] react and try to slow the game down again. It worked. I'll keep trying to do it."

Hamilton was 2-for-5 with four RBIs. It was just his second game of more than three RBIs since June 1 (he had four RBIs on June 30). He hit a ground ball through the hole between first and second to drive in two runs in the second, giving the Rangers a 4-2 lead at the time. He then came up with two outs in the seventh and hit a double to center on a breaking ball, scoring two more runs to help give the bullpen a cushion.

It was the kind of early August game he needed after struggling in June and July. Hamilton hit .223 in June and .177 in July.

"I figured I'd play good the first two months, suck the middle two and pick it up again the last two," Hamilton said, laughing.

Hamilton said he has been working with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh in the cages, but that he had to work on the mental approach more than swing mechanics.

"There's nothing wrong with my swing," Hamilton said. "It's about trusting myself and not being too aggressive and trying to slow the game down again."

Can a game like Thursday's get Hamilton going?

"I don't think about getting going," Hamilton said. "I think about coming out and trying to play, period. I want to play good, but whatever happens, happens. I want to go out and play hard and not stress over anything. Having fun is a key for me, and if I've got a smile on my face then good things are going to happen."

Hamilton admitted it has been frustrating for him recently but that he's being patient and feels like things are turning around. He hinted earlier in the week that something had been bothering him, but didn't want to get into specifics.

"People are trying to figure out what's going on, but it's nobody's business," Hamilton said. "When I want you to know, I'll let you know."