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Josh Hamilton still a bit confused about Sunday's 'down day'

June 17, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels' Josh Hamilton hits an RBI double against the New York Yankees on Saturday.
Angels' Josh Hamilton hits an RBI double against the New York Yankees… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

Josh Hamilton planned to seek out Mike Scioscia during batting practice  Monday to discuss what seemed to be a misunderstanding between the two on Sunday, when Hamilton was not summoned to pinch-hit during a five-run ninth-inning rally against the New York Yankees.

The Angels manager, however, did not think that was necessary.

“Every player knows if it comes to a situation where it’s 13th or 14th inning, you can never really guarantee someone a day off, but Josh knew we were going to stay away from him,” Scioscia said. “Trust me, Josh needed a day, physically and mentally.”

Hamilton has been in a season-long funk, entering Monday with a .213 average, nine homers, 22 runs batted in, 69 strikeouts and a .137 average with runners in scoring position.

He’s also hitting .155 against left-handers, and with ace C.C. Sabathia, a lefty, starting for the Yankees on Sunday, it seemed a good time for Scioscia to give Hamilton a day off.

But Hamilton spent 40 minutes in the batting cage preparing for a late-game appearance and said he was “a little bit” disappointed to be bypassed in the ninth by left-handed hitting J.B. Shuck, who drew a pinch-hit walk off David Robertson, and Brad Hawpe, who had a pinch-hit single off closer Mariano Rivera.

The rally came up short, and the Angels lost, 6-5. Hamilton was back in right field and hitting second in Monday night’s game against Seattle.

“When you have a down day, that means you get ready for the eighth or ninth inning — that’s standard,” Hamilton said before Monday’s game. “I was a little surprised.”

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