Hamilton, Young return to Rangers lineup

Updated: June 10, 2008, 9:00 PM ET
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Josh Hamilton and Michael Young returned to the Texas Rangers' lineup against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night after missing the series finale against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Young
Young

Josh Hamilton

Hamilton

Hamilton, who had been slowed by a virus for several days, went 1-for-12 in three games before sitting out Sunday. He leads the majors with 69 RBIs and tops the American League with 155 total bases, 17 home runs, 36 extra-base hits and 26 multi-hit games.

Hamilton said he felt "about 90 percent."

Young, who has been playing with a broken right finger on his left hand, was held out Sunday against the Rays with tightness his left groin.

"Mike came out early when we took some extra batting practice and did his stuff," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He walked off smiling and said he is ready to go. The doc told me yesterday Hamilton was feeling better and that he'd be ready to go. He came in feeling good, too, did extra work and everything went well. So we got them back in the lineup."

Young took a 22-game hitting streak, the longest in the majors this season, into the game Tuesday.

Hank Blalock, who is on the disabled list, threw to the bases Tuesday for the first time since having carpal tunnel surgery. He is also learning the footwork at first base after playing most of his career at third base.

"I think that went well for the first time," Washington said. "Its the first time he had a chance to throw at any distance. The only thing we were concerned about was not his throwing but the footwork. Tomorrow, we'll get at normal depth and do it. Today we were doing it close up and controlled and he got through it pretty good."

Blalock will start swinging the bat Friday and if he has no setbacks could begin a minor league rehab assignment next week and be activated by June 20 when the Rangers play at the Washington Nationals.

Washington also announced right-hander Eric Hurley, a 2004 first-round pick, would make his major league debut Thursday and start against the Royals. Hurley was with the club Tuesday but will not be placed on the big league roster until Thursday. He was 2-5 with a 5.30 earned-run average in 13 starts with Triple-A Oklahoma in the Pacific Coast League.

"This is what you play for," Hurley said. "I signed when I was 18 years old. I'm fortunate to get here at a young age [22] and hopefully I'll stay. Thursday can't come fast enough. I want to get out there. You've got love playing with this defense behind you. And they can hit, there's no doubt about that."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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