Hamilton back in Rangers lineup, Hamels good after bullpen
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Josh Hamilton was back in the Texas Rangers lineup Friday night after an MRI showed no structural damage in his sore left knee, and left-hander Cole Hamels felt good after a bullpen session
Hamilton missed the previous two games before the exam Friday, when he was batting sixth and played left field for the series opener against Tampa Bay.
''Just getting old. Thin cartilage. Same thing as I figured it was, like a bone bruise,'' Hamilton said. ''Mentally, I know it's structurally fine, so the pain part of it is fine.''
Hamels was scratched from his start Thursday because of a sore left groin. He threw what he called a normal bullpen session before Friday's game.
''It was just nice to be able to get out on the mound again,'' Hamels said. ''I think that's just kind of the telltale sign is being able to feel comfortable out on the mound, knowing that I can go out there as 100 percent as I can, trying to make pitches and just being able to do that rep after rep. Everything felt pretty good.''
It was the first time Hamels had been back on a mound since his Aug. 7 start at Seattle, his second for Texas since being acquired two weeks ago in a trade from Philadelphia. The Rangers have lost both of his starts, though he left his Texas debut with one runner on base and a three-run lead.
Without any setbacks, Hamels is expected to start Monday night's home game against Seattle.