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Fri, 11 May 2012 03:46 AM EDT

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton’s extreme 2012 season now includes his 1st career 4-home-run game, all of them 2-run shots in a 10-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Basketball odds

“Clearly it’s, other than being in the World Series, the high point of my big-league career,” Hamilton declared.

Hamilton homered off Jake Arrieta in the 1st and 3rd innings, added another off Zach Phillips in the 7th and topped it off with an one-for-the-books shot against Darren O’Day in the 8th. During the last at-bat, Hamilton took a mighty hack and missed, lined a foul into the right-field seats and then sent a 0-2 pitch over the center-field wall.

“I was saying after I hit 2 I had never hit 3 in a game before. What a blessing that was,” Hamilton claimed. “And then to hit 4, it was just an awesome feeling to see how excited my squad got.

“It makes you recall when you’re in Little League and a little kid, and just the excitement and why we play the game. Things like that. You never can say what can occur. It was just a complete blessing.”

It marked the 16th four-home-run game in big league history. Hamilton is 1st to accomplish the feat since Carlos Delgado did so on Sept. 25, 2003, for Toronto against Tampa Bay. Two of the sixteen players to hit 4 homers in a game did it before 1900. Hamilton is the 6th American League player to execute the feat.

“History was witnessed tonight,” Rangers chief Ron Washington announced.

Hamilton’s record-setting night is the newest achievement in a career that almost never was.

He went from 1st round draft pick in 1999 by Tampa Bay to out of baseball all together because of drug and alcohol addiction.

He recovered and returned to the majors in 2007 with Cincinnati, and was traded to the Texas, where he has become a star — the American League MVP in 2010 — while still fighting his addiction. He had a relapse before this season, but is off to an extreme start.

It was Hamilton’s 5th multi-homer game, but the 1st time he’s hit four home runs in one game. The eight RBIs are a better career high for the slugger and his 18 total bases in the game broke the club record last set by Jose Canseco on June 13, 1994 in opposition to Seattle. The 18 total bases set a new American League record and was one shy of the major league record held by Green.

“As a player, you do not go out and try to do stuff like that,” Hamilton expounded. “You play the game hard and try and do the absolute best you can, and if you happen to break a record, that is great. But you don’t set out to try to do that as a player.”

Hamilton, who is in the last year of his deal and could become an independent agent after this season, leads the American League with Fourteen homers and 36 RBIs, and his 5-for-5 effort raised his batting average to .406.

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