Hamilton's hamstring holds up in return from DL

Outfielder still feels injury, but isn't bothered by it in 2-for-4 first game back

Hamilton's hamstring holds up in return from DL

BALTIMORE -- The Rangers reinstated outfielder Josh Hamilton from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday and optioned third baseman/outfielder Joey Gallo to Triple-A Round Rock. Hamilton batted fifth and played left field in Tuesday's 8-6 win over the Orioles.

Hamilton played his first game since May 31 after being placed on the DL on June 4 with a strained left hamstring, and he went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a run scored in his first game. He is now batting .351/.390/.684 in 27 games at Camden Yards.

Hamilton singles in return

"I'm not trying to do too much," Hamilton said. "I am trying to put the barrel on the ball. You start from there. Once you start from there, you try to put a little extra into it if you need to. Overall, I felt good with my at-bats. It was a good night overall."

The veteran said he felt his hamstring a couple of times throughout the game, but expected that, and said it's all part of managing the injury. He got to test out his injured hamstring with two catches on the night, one of them coming on sliding grab in the sixth inning to rob Chris Parmelee of a base hit.

"I felt it on that one, for sure," Hamilton said. "Thank goodness it was not a build up to full speed. The quick moves don't really bother me. It's getting up to full speed."

Hamilton said he still feels the hamstring injury most when he lengthens his strides, but he has no concerns about continuing to play through the pain. He's been focusing on taking shorter strides, which feels comfortable with the injury, but it's just a matter of constantly reminding himself to do so.

It hasn't been a problem while practicing, because the focus is there, but he did say it slipped his mind a couple of times throughout the game.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he will treat Hamilton's case on a day-to-day basis, assessing the veteran's health each day with the mindset of having him ready to go for the second half of the season. During a four-game rehab stint with Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock, Hamilton went 4-for-12 with a walk, a double, three RBIs and a pair of runs. He made one start as the designated hitter and three in center field.

Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.