Then he went out and did enough.
Playing with Triple-A Round Rock, Hamilton went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, drove in two runs and played four innings in center field to help his team to a 5-1 win against the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Marlins. After grounding out to second in his first at-bat, he beat out a slow dribbler to third that scored a run in the third inning. In the fifth, he sent a flare into shallow right-center field for another RBI single. He left the game before the bottom of the fifth, long enough to help the Zephyrs draw a crowd of 6,976 for the night.
Hamilton injured his left hamstring running out a two-run double on May 31 against Boston. He went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored as the designated hitter in his first rehab start Wednesday with the Rangers' Double-A Frisco team.
"He did a nice job tonight," said Round Rock manager Jason Wood. "He's been with us before. It's not the first time we've had him, but it's part of his rehab process. He's in a good state, he's in a good place and, physically, I think he's looking better. He moved pretty well tonight. Offensively, I think his timing is coming along pretty well. We just have to monitor those legs and make sure he's moving pretty well. He looked pretty good tonight."
Shortly after his arrival in New Orleans on Thursday, Hamilton met with a group of local media and talked about everything from his injury to his daughters to former Rangers manager Ron Washington, a New Orleans native. Hamilton alluded to his past transgressions with drugs and alcohol, referring to the Bible and forgiveness. He also said he's trying to calm down a little.
"I'm being smart and trying to play the game the right way," Hamilton said. "I was pretty reckless sometimes, running into walls and stuff. I'm trying not to do that so much -- which is hard to do when you're out there, because you just react. I'm just trying to focus more."
Asked if he had any advice for younger players, he said he tells them: "It's the same game you've played your whole life between the white lines. The only difference is the size of the ballpark and how many people are watching you."
Lori Lyons is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.