Rangers' Hamilton looking forward to break

Rangers' Hamilton looking forward to break

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton has been through plenty, on and off the field, already this season, and a few days off at the All-Star break could be coming at the right time.

After his ballyhooed return to the Rangers, Hamilton missed a month with a strained left hamstring, and missed the past two games with a mild strain in his upper right leg. He was back in the Rangers' lineup Tuesday against the D-backs, but he said he is still being careful in managing his injuries.

"I wouldn't be out there playing if I didn't feel like I could go to a certain point and still get the job done," Hamilton said. " … But at the same time, it's gonna take a little extra focus. My biggest focus was, 'OK, I'm still nursing the left hamstring, now the right hip. If I go out there and push through, was it going to make one worse than the other and cause me to be out more time?'"

Hamilton said doctors told him his latest injury was minor and would heal progressively. He is communicating with manager Jeff Banister every day, and though he is back on the field, Hamilton will welcome the All-Star break. He said he'll be plenty busy keeping up with his daughters, but the break will provide a good window to take care of his body.

"I love my girls and I love baseball, so it's good to be around two things I love," Hamilton said. "It can't do anything but make my head calm. Sometimes both of them are challenging, but it's good for me."

Hamilton has had a limited sample size, but he entered play Tuesday hitting .303 with two home runs and five RBIs. The Rangers have stayed in the hunt through the first half of the season, but the health of Hamilton and other stars such as Adrian Beltre could be vital to determining the team's success in the second half.

"I think we need that presence in the lineup," Banister said. "Any time you can put a hitter with the capability of Josh Hamilton in the lineup, mixed with what we already have as a lineup, I think it does just add to the structure of the lineup."

Worth noting

• Rangers right-hander Yovani Gallardo wasn't selected to the American League All-Star Team despite a 7-6 record and 2.56 ERA prior to Monday's roster unveiling. Banister wouldn't use the word snub, but said, "That's not up to me, but I think he pitched well enough to be considered an All-Star."

• Left-handed pitcher Martin Perez is scheduled to make his fifth rehab start Tuesday with Triple-A Round Rock. Perez will likely start again Sunday before being considered for reinstatement from the disabled list.

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