Hamilton's right shoulder isn't showing improvement

Hamilton's right shoulder isn't showing improvement

ARLINGTON -- Angels cleanup hitter Josh Hamilton on Tuesday missed his fifth straight game with lingering stiffness near his right shoulder, an ailment that doesn't seem to be getting any better as the regular season winds down.

"When you're in a pennant race, these guys are out there and they're playing banged up, and for Josh not to be playing, he's hurting," manager Mike Scioscia said prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Rangers. "He'd be out here if it was something he could play through. There's a concern with that."

Hamilton aggravated his AC joint while fielding a liner off the wall in last Thursday's second inning, then he exited the game in the middle of the eighth, took a cortisone shot postgame and missed games at Target Field on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

During that time, the injury moved from Hamilton's AC joint to his trapezius muscle, prompting him to take a couple of trigger-point injections to loosen up some knots and miss two more games -- at Progressive Field on Monday, at Globe Life Park on Tuesday.

Hamilton's health isn't necessarily improving right now.

"He had been," Scioscia said, "but today, at first blush when he was getting worked on, it didn't look like it was going in the right direction."

Hamilton -- batting .263 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs in 88 games -- took some swings in the cage early on Tuesday, but he didn't feel right and spent a lot of the afternoon plugged into an electrical nerve stimulation unit. Asked if he's hopeful Hamilton can rejoin the Angels before they leave Texas on Thursday, Scioscia said: "We don't know. We just don't know."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.