Josh Hamilton homers in return

Updated: September 15, 2012, 12:38 AM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton said before Friday's game against Seattle that his left knee was already feeling "90 percent better."

It showed.

Hamilton, who was out of the lineup Thursday after getting an injection in the knee, had a solo home run in the third and a double in the eighth. His 42 home runs lead the AL and he has 123 RBIs, tops in the majors. Hamilton has homered in seven of his last 14 games.

Hamilton looked comfortable and was moving around well. The knee didn't appear to bother him.

"That should let you know that you really have no clue what we play through during the season," said a smiling Hamilton after the game. "Just because we don't tell you about something doesn't mean we're not hurting and not playing through stuff that's hurting all year.

"That's how we respond to things. I wanted to make sure and go ahead and get it taken care of while Cleveland was in town so I'd be able to come back."

Hamilton admitted that his focus level "went up" when he fell behind 0-2 with Elvis Andrus at second base in a one-run game in the eighth inning. But Hamilton laid off three pitches outside the strike zone, then fouled off a pitch on 3-2 before belting a double to drive in Andrus.

"There's a lefty in and it's understanding that I don't have to try to do anything or create anything," Hamilton said. "Just wait on the ball, let it come. That mentality. I've been fighting that all year. Some nights it clicks, some nights it doesn't. I'm glad tonight it did."

Adrian Beltre, who left Wednesday's game in the fifth inning with inflammation in his shoulder, was the designated hitter Friday.

"This is my wanting to give him two days in the DH spot, so I figure he'd be ready to go back out there tomorrow," manager Ron Washington said.

He also was the DH on Thursday and got two hits in the Rangers' 5-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Right-hander Roy Oswalt likely won't throw another bullpen session until next week after experiencing discomfort while throwing Thursday.

Oswalt, who has been a starter and a reliever since getting to Texas in late June, left Sunday's start at Tampa Bay after two innings because of a right forearm strain. The two-time All-Star took a couple of days off throwing before his shortened bullpen session.

"You're always concerned when something is nagging. We hoped by now that maybe it would have gone away. But it hasn't, so we've just got to keep in the process and see what happens," Washington said. "It is unfamiliar territory for him. He's never had an arm injury. It could be a little of him being tentative too."

Oswalt said he'll likely throw in the bullpen again Tuesday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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