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Nelson on Hamilton's Texas return in Angels uniform

All the Angels needed was one good swing of the bat. And they had just the guys do it.

Down by one entering the ninth inning against the Rangers on Friday, the Angels sent Albert Pujols to the plate. Josh Hamilton was on deck.

The two combined for 73 home runs last season, but this time they came up empty. Rangers closer Joe Nathan needed just four pitches to retire the two.

Pujols, who hit .217 with no homers for the entire month of April 2012, is 1-for-14  to start the 2013 season.

Hamilton, who was booed in each of his at-bats in his first return to Texas wearing an opponent's uniform, is 1-for-16 this season, with eight strikeouts.

The Angels could use more from their Nos. 3 and 4 hitters as they continue their series with the Rangers on Saturday.

Matt Harrison, who struggled in his season debut, against the Astros, allowing five earned runs over 5 2/3 innings, will get the start for the Rangers.

"I'm looking forward to it, especially them being our big division rival," Harrison said. "They've added some punch to their lineup, so it should be a good challenge."

Harrison's opponent, Tommy Hanson, will be making his Angels debut after being traded from the Braves for reliever Jordan Walden this offseason. The 26-year-old has seen his fastball velocity decline in each of the past three seasons, down from about 94 mph in 2010 to about 89 mph in 2012, according to

The once-heralded prospect is coming off his best outing of the spring, though, in which he went 6 1/3 innings against the Dodgers, allowing just one run on three hits with six strikeouts.

 "His last two outings, in a camp game and against the Dodgers, he felt more comfortable with his pitches," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Rangers: Kinsler concentrating on the here and now
Ian Kinsler was the hero in Friday's game, knocking a two-out single that scored Craig Gentry from second base for the eventual game-winning run.

Kinsler, who could receive pressure from's top prospect, Jurickson Profar, who is waiting in Triple-A Round Rock, was asked about Elvis Andrus' recent contract extension, which could keep the shortstop in Texas until 2022. Kinsler is signed through 2017.

"I'm just trying to win today," Kinsler said. "I'm not worried about next year or last year. We want to win as many games as we can and not worry about next year. As far as who has the longer contract or that we've got our infield locked down for years, we not thinking about that. ... 2013 is what's important."

Angels: Iannetta strong at the dish
In his most productive season -- 2008, with the Rockies -- catcher Chris Iannetta hit .264 with a .390 on-base percentage and 18 home runs. In three starts with the Angels this season, he is hitting .417, with two homers.

The 30-year-old, who has provided a boost from the bottom of the order, has not yet faced Harrison.

Backup catcher Hank Conger impressed this spring, hitting .359 with four home runs and 16 RBIs. He went 1-for-4 in his only start so far this season.

Worth noting
•  Howard Kendrick has been the most productive of the current Angels against Harrison, hitting .333 with a homer in 15 at-bats.

•  The Rangers don't have much experience against Tommy Hanson, but A.J. Pierzynski is 3-for-3 off him, and Lance Berkman is 2-for-6.

•  Leonys Martin is expected to start in center field for the Rangers after Craig Gentry started there on Friday. This would be the third start in five games for Martin.

•  In 2012 the Rangers (6.0) and Angels (5.8) combined for the second-most runs in any season series. Only the Indians (6.3) vs. Royals (5.7) combined for more.

• All reserved seats have been sold for Saturday's game, except singles and obstructed-view tickets. Standing-room tickets are also on sale. For Sunday, 8,500 reserved seats remain. Comments