Hamilton ready for little brother Dougie to join him in pros

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Hamilton ready for little brother Dougie to join him in pros

WORCESTER - Freddie Hamilton was always the older brother, and enjoyed a long run of dominance when it came to competing with younger brother Dougie in any sporting arena. It didnt matter what sport they were playing or whether it was in the backyard or one of many old barns in Ontario.

And the Hamilton brothers participated in plenty of sports as the two sons of an Olympic rower father and Olympic basketball player mother. They actually met during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

But regardless of their parents athletic pedigree, it was the typical brotherly relationship until Dougie sprouted up to a formidable 6-foot-5 as a teenager, and Freddie collided with him a few times while going head-to-head in the World Junior Orientation Camp for Team Canada. Freddie realized at that point that maybe the older brother doesnt always automatically win by default.

At World Junior camp the last couple of years weve played against each other. It was pretty strange. I think pretty immediately in the first game we played against each other the puck went into the corner and we hit each pretty hard, said Freddie. Growing up I was always taller than him, but once he hit that growth spurt in the OHL it made it a lot more difficult for me to handle him.

As an older brother Im obviously really proud of him and Ive tried to help him out. To see him doing so well is really exciting for me too. Hes been really good his whole life, but he was kind of small for a little bit. But he kept working at it and things are happening for him now. Seeing his progression from really good to maybe the best defenseman outside of the NHL has been special.

Fortunately Freddie and Dougie Hamilton have largely played together rather than against each other during their equally accomplished hockey careers including the last three years as members of the OHLs Niagara IceDogs. While Dougie is still in Niagara skating for the IceDogs while waiting for the NHL lockout to end, Freddie has begun his pro hockey career this season with the AHLs Worcester Sharks.

The 20-year-old topped 30 goals and 80 points in each of the last two seasons with the IceDogs, and has three assists and a minus-1 in his first seven games with Worcester this year. Thats a pretty good start for the 2010 Sharks fifth round draft pick after his four outstanding OHL seasons, and continues to provide clues to the San Jose brass as to what hell be after fully developing his game.

While he may not score with that kind of frequency after making the significant jump to the American Hockey League, Hamilton projects to be a bottom six forward with offensive upside in the San Jose organization. The on-ice relationship between the two brothers could end up very similar to the track of the Niedermayer brothers: hard-working energy forward Rob and Hall of Fame-caliber defenseman Scott captured the Stanley Cup over the course of their careers.

Its been so far, so good for young Freddie as he embarks on that working mans forward role with the Sharks.

I think Im getting more comfortable as the season has gone along. This league is much better than the OHL, said Freddie. Its a lot faster with stronger players. Everybody is much smarter as well. It takes a little bit of an adjustment, but the summer camp in San Jose certainly helps as well.

I pride myself on being a smart player and I always get better as I get used to whatever circumstance that Im in. Im definitely looking to continue to improve all season.

But Freddie is hopeful it wont be too long before hes up with the San Jose Sharks at the NHL level, and that will mean potential brotherly showdowns with Dougie after he joins up with the Bruins. Its expected Hamilton is going to make Bostons roster this year once the NHL season begins after the NHL and CHL made special lockout provisions for a group of elite junior hockey players once the lockout is over.

Despite those assurances for Bostons bright defenseman prospect, Freddie has felt his little brothers antsy feelings when theyve spoken over the phone something the close siblings do very often while hundreds of miles apart from each other.

We talk every day. He follows my games every day and I follow his, said Freddie. Even though were not together we still help each other out and give each other pointers when he can. Its definitely been a little different being apart though.

One other thing Freddie couldnt help: the older sibling envisioned future matchups against Dougie when his Worcester Sharks to the ice against the Providence Bruins on Friday night and took home a 3-2 win at the Dunkin Donuts Center despite a scoreless effort from Freddie. Just seeing the Black and Gold Bruins sweaters made Freddie realize the hockey dream shared by the two brothers is that much closer to reality no matter which of them gets to the NHL first.

Meanwhile Dougie has 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in 17 games for the IceDogs this year while he essentially sits and waits for the NHL to figure things out.

Its a little cool that my brother is with them and hes been to some camps with the Bruins, said Freddie. Dougie is hoping that the lockout ends soon. He wants to get up to Boston and prove himself there. But I think hes also done well to focus on the junior level while hes there.

We all hope the lockout ends so he gets his shot. Hes a little disappointed that things havent started up yet. Its our goal to both make the NHL and play against each other. It would be really cool. Well both push each to get there and make sure that happens. Itll be a weird experience playing against him, but it will be fun too.

Perhaps Freddie can even get back to big brother bragging rights even as Dougie has grown into what talent evaluators are calling the best defenseman currently playing outside the NHL ranks. That should be something fun to watch as their two careers intertwine over the next 10 years or more.

Andrelton Simmons slugs Angels to 7-3 win over Red Sox

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Andrelton Simmons slugs Angels to 7-3 win over Red Sox

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- When runs come in bunches, so do the wins for the Los Angeles Angels.

Andrelton Simmons drove in three runs, including a go-ahead two-run homer, Albert Pujols went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and the Angels rallied for a 7-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.

Simmons hit his 10th homer of the season to left and put the Angels ahead 4-3 in the third inning after falling behind early. Pujols doubled to score Yunel Escobar and Mike Trout to start the four-run outburst.

"When we got a pitch to hit we hit it hard," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Albert got us going, that's a big double. One thing that can get you back into the game, extra-base hits tonight showed up."

The Angels improved to 38-10 when scoring four or more runs, compared to a 10-41 mark when held to three or fewer.

Battering Red Sox ace David Price even after facing a 3-0 deficit after two innings made this particular offensive eruption all the more impressive.

"We started chipping away," said Simmons, who went 2 for 4. "Guys just kept putting up good at-bats. We just didn't make it easy for them."

JC Ramirez (9-8) recorded his second win at home in 11 starts, striking out six while allowing one earned run and five hits in six innings despite struggling early.

The Red Sox got off to another fast start after scoring five runs in the first inning on Friday. Hanley Ramirez had an RBI single to start the scoring, and the Red Sox got two runs in the second after the Angels' franchise-record streak of 14 games without an error ended when Ramirez couldn't make the catch to complete a double play while covering first. Mookie Betts hit his 31st double to knock in a run and then was driven in by Andrew Benintendi for a 3-0 lead.

However, the Angels were able to respond after dropping the series opener. They added two runs in the fifth when Simmons singled, again bringing home Pujols, and he scored on a throwing error by shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

Trout picked up an RBI in the sixth, giving him five in seven games this home stand.

Price (5-3) gave up five earned runs and seven hits in five innings, allowing more than three earned runs for only the second time this year.

"The one thing that they did do well was they forced him to throw a lot of pitches," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Obviously, the third inning, two big swings were the difference."

ANOTHER PUJOLS MILESTONE

Pujols became the 26th player to score 1,700 runs when he touched home plate after Simmons went deep. Pujols joins Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez and Willie Mays in amassing at least 600 home runs and 1,700 runs.

Scioscia called Pujols' continued climb into the history books a moment of "living history."

"He's had an incredible career and he's got more in his tank," Scioscia said. "It's fun to see the guys he is connected with."

FARRELL TOSSED

Farrell got the boot for arguing with umpire Phil Cuzzi in the middle of the fifth, though his original intent was to keep Dustin Pedroia from the same outcome. But by the time Farrell got to home plate, Pedroia had ended his conversation with Cuzzi and Farrell picked up where it left off.

"Anytime you make a comment about balls and strikes, that's probably what it's going to get you," Farrell said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: INF Josh Rutledge (concussion) is likely to come off the disabled list on Monday. ... Mitch Moreland was in the starting lineup at DH for the first time this season.

Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (strained oblique) pitched four innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Salt Lake, giving up three earned runs and six hits.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (4-12, 4.60 ERA) has just one win in his last 10 starts, but it came against the Angels last month. Porcello has allowed two earned runs in 14 innings over his last two starts, striking out 13 without allowing a walk in that span, and still took the loss in both outings.

Angels: RHP Parker Bridwell (3-1, 3.18 ERA) went a career-high 6 2/3 innings to pick up the win against the Red Sox last month. Bridwell has held opponents to two earned runs or fewer in five of his last six starts.

Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury help Revolution beat Galaxy 4-3

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Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury help Revolution beat Galaxy 4-3

Teal Bunbury scored twice, Diego Fagundez had three assists and the New England Revolution beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-3 on Saturday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

Bunbury gave New England (6-9-5) a 3-2 lead in the 70th. His pass down the right side led Kelyn Rowe, who played a perfect cross to a charging Bunbury for a header from the top of the 6-yard box.

Lee Nguyen opened the scoring for Revolution in the 16th, but Daniel Steres tied it in the 22nd. Kei Kamara put New England back on top going into halftime, and Steres made it 2-2 in the 53rd minute.

Bunbury's second goal put New England up 4-2 in the 73rd and Ariel Lassiter added a goal for the Galaxy in the 79th.

Los Angeles (6-10-4) has lost five in a row and has just one win in its last eight games.