Josh Hamilton back in lineup
ARLINGTON, Texas -- One day after leaving Friday's game in the fifth inning with lower back spasms, Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton was in the lineup as the designated hitter for Saturday night's game with the Minnesota Twins.
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Hamilton batted in his usual third spot in the lineup. He went 1-for-4 with a solo homer as the Rangers won 4-3 in 10 innings.
Manager Ron Washington said he saw Hamilton in the batting cages and the outfielder told him he could serve as DH on Saturday, so Washington put him in the lineup.
"He's my best player. We need production," Washington said before the game. "We have no production right now in the lineup. So when your best productive guy says he can play, you play him."
Hamilton was set to be re-evaluated after the game to determine his status for Sunday. If all goes well, Washington says he thinks Hamilton should be fine for Tuesday's All-Star Game in Kansas City.
Hamilton said after Friday's game that he believed he'd be ready to play in the All-Star Game, but was more concerned about making sure he could help the club on Saturday and Sunday against Minnesota.
Hamilton said his lower back grabbed at him as he broke back on a deep fly ball off the bat of Brian Dozier in the fifth inning. Hamilton got turned around on the ball, put his glove up just in front of the wall and then dropped the ball after it hit his glove, allowing Dozier to get to third on the error.
Hamilton left the game after that half-inning as Leonys Martin pinch hit for him in the bottom of the fifth.
It's the second time this season that his back has acted up, though Hamilton said the lower back spasms were not in the same area as those that kept him out of a three-game series in Toronto earlier this season.
Hamilton entered Saturday batting .314 with 26 homers (second in the American League to Jose Bautista) and a league-best 74 RBIs. He received the most votes in the history of All-Star Game fan voting and is slated to start his fifth consecutive Midsummer Classic on Tuesday.
Washington also had Derek Holland on the mound Saturday after the left-hander was activated off the 15-day disabled list. Holland had been out with shoulder fatigue. Right-hander Justin Grimm was optioned to Double-A Frisco to make room on the roster.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.