ARLINGTON, Texas - Texas Rangers fans were cheering again for Josh Hamilton - this time when the slugger struck out.
Making the home opener even sweeter for them, speedy Craig Gentry scored the go-ahead on Canyon del Oro High grad Ian Kinsler's two-out single in the eighth inning as the Rangers won 3-2 Friday over Hamilton and the AL West-rival Los Angeles Angels.
Hamilton was a five-time All-Star and the 2010 AL MVP while with Texas before going to the Angels with a $125 million, five-year contract over the winter. He was booed when he was introduced, then cheered when he struck out twice while going 0 for 4.
"I'd lie to you if I said it didn't bother me a little bit. But it didn't like overwhelm me," Hamilton said. "It's what I expected."
Kinsler's sharp single to right was fielded by Hamilton, who short-hopped a throw to the plate as Gentry dived headfirst to score.
Gentry reached with a one-out single off Scott Downs (0-2), the fourth Angels pitcher. Gentry took off on his own for the stolen base, then after pinch-hitter Jeff Baker struck out, Gentry put his head down with every intention to score on Kinsler's hit.
"We were struggling the whole game to put some runs across," Gentry said. "You've got to gamble right there and you've got to take a chance."
Even with the strong-armed Hamilton in right fielding the ball.
"Felt good, man, felt good. Came out hot. Short-hopped him," Hamilton said before a sigh. "I already replayed it in my mind 100 times. Came up and gave it a good throw and that's all you can do. He's fast."
Tanner Scheppers (1-0) pitched an inning in relief of starter Derek Holland. Joe Nathan worked the ninth for his first save, an inning that started with him retiring Albert Pujols and Hamilton on flyballs.
Kinsler got a hit and drove in a run for the fifth home opener in a row.