The Sports Xchange

MLB Team Report - Los Angeles Angels - INSIDE PITCH

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Josh Hamilton failed to hit a home run from June 4 through June 29, a 23-game streak that matched the longest streak without a homer in his career (2009 with Texas).

Hamilton, though, homered in the first game of a doubleheader on July 1 and then again the next day on July 2.

"They usually come in bunches," Hamilton told reporters. "I feel like I've turned the corner."

How did he suddenly find his power stroke?

Hamilton watched video of himself and recognized that he would "cut off" his swing on inside pitches. It was a subconscious effort to protect his surgically repaired left thumb, which he injured with a headfirst slide into first base on April 8 and caused him to miss almost two months.

Now that he discovered the flaw, Hamilton said he can make a more conscious effort to "let loose" and swing through the ball.

Hamilton, though, swung through the ball Thursday, striking out three times and going 0-for-4.


MLB Team Report - Los Angeles Angels - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 48-36

STREAK: Won one

NEXT: Astros (LHP Dallas Keuchel, 8-5, 2.78 ERA) at Angels (LHP C.J. Wilson, 8-6, 3.90 ERA)


--RF Kole Calhoun is hitting .351 (34-for-97) in his last 29 games. Since June 17, he leads the majors with 16 runs scored (in 13 games) despite platooning with RF Collin Cowgill.

--LF Josh Hamilton's home run on July 1 against the cHICAGO White Sox snapped a 23-game homerless streak, equaling the longest home run drought of his career (with Texas in 2009). The next day, Hamilton homered again. He attributed his power surge to not "cutting off" his swing to protect his surgically repaired left thumb, something he said he was doing subconsciously.

--RHP Matt Shoemaker gave up two runs, seven hits and three walks in six innings Thursday against the Astros to get the win and improve to 6-2. As a starter, he is 6-1 with a 3.79 ERA, a pleasant surprise for someone who began the season in the bullpen. "You never know how a player is going to respond to the major leagues," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Shoemaker, who is 50-40 with a 4.52 ERA in seven minor league seasons. "Some guys have great minor league careers and come up and never really get on track. And some guys maybe get that opportunity and run with it. I'm not going to say I'm surprised because Matt has the potential to do what he's doing. The fact that he's doing it, and doing it in a role that we need so badly says a lot about his makeup and character and hopefully it'll continue."

--LHP C.J. Wilson will start Friday's game against the Astros. Wilson is coming off a bad start, having given up four runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. He is 6-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 20 career games (10 starts) vs. Houston.