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LAA@TEX: Hamilton swats a pair of solo homers

ARLINGTON -- C.J. Wilson returned to the Ballpark in Arlington on Friday and started against the Rangers. He will start on Saturday afternoon as well after facing all of five batters.

Yu Darvish will get the day off. He earned that and the respect of his teammates on a wet night at the Ballpark.

Darvish was able to endure a 1-hour, 56-minute rain delay and pitched the Rangers to a 10-3 victory over the Angels in the first of their three-game series. Josh Hamilton led the offensive support for Darvish with three hits, including two more home runs.

Hamilton has eight home runs in five games and is only the third player in Major League history to hit 17 home runs in his team's first 33 games. Cy Williams did so for the Phillies in 1923, and Frank Howard for the Senators in 1968.

But when the game was over, Hamilton preferred to talk about what Darvish did rather than himself.

"I was really proud of him coming back out there and sticking it out," Hamilton said. "It says a lot to his teammates about him."

"Coming back from the rain delay was the biggest thing," infielder Michael Young said. "It gives us a chance to save our bullpen. We're in a stretch right now where we're going to have to use a spot starter next week. For him to come back after a long delay shows what he's made of. As a teammate, you definitely appreciate that."

The rain delay came in the bottom of the first after Darvish had held the Angels scoreless in the top of the inning. The Rangers had one run home, the bases loaded and still one out against Wilson when time was called. When play resumed, Wilson was out of the game and Darvish was warming up for the Rangers.

"We weighed a lot of things, and when the rain delay progressed, we thought it was going to be too long," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Two hours is a long time for C.J. to go back out, and he felt really strong that he could come back and start tomorrow. We felt that was the best option, and we'll see how he does tomorrow."

The Angels had a major advantage over the Rangers. They were off on Thursday. That allowed them to use fifth-starter Jerome Williams in relief of Wilson. Now Wilson will take Williams' spot on Saturday. The Rangers had to play a doubleheader on Thursday against the Orioles. If they had pulled Darvish on Friday night, they would have had to use Scott Feldman, and he is scheduled to start against the Royals on Monday.

Darvish going back out after the rain delay kept the Rangers' rotation from getting backed up more than it already is.

"We kept him warm and we kept him throwing," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He wanted to pitch. He said he showed up to pitch. He didn't show up to throw one inning and call it quits. Everybody was on board with that. He was mentally into pitching.

"I liked his guts. I like the fact he knew we got in late last night, it was his turn to pitch and he was ready to pitch."

Darvish, who was given a 6-0 lead before he went back to the mound, went 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on three hits and three walks while striking out seven. He is now 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA after seven starts.

"I expected to stay in the game," Darvish said. "No matter how long the delay was, I expected to keep myself ready to pitch. Mentally I was focused all the time."

Mike Trout hit a two-run home run off him, and Torii Hunter had a solo shot.

"He certainly has the ability to change speeds," Scioscia said. "He showed some good breaking balls. He threw some breaking balls, mostly sliders, which was a late breaker, and we knew that. I thought he did a good job pitching in and had some good life on his fastball, that's for sure."

The Rangers scored six runs in the first inning, including four charged to Wilson even though he did not allow a ball hit out of the infield. Three of the four runs scored after Wilson had to come out of the game because of the rain delay. Nelson Cruz had a two-run single off Williams and Craig Gentry had a two-run triple.

"I really didn't pay attention to the runs," Darvish said. "We had a long day yesterday, and the team came in really late [from Baltimore]. All I thought about was getting a lot of outs. I think I threw the ball better after the delay. The ball was coming out of my hand better and my velocity was better."

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