Hamilton returns to Rangers lineup

Hamilton returns to Rangers lineup

SAN DIEGO -- Josh Hamilton returned to the starting lineup Tuesday night against the Padres after battling a stomach virus since last Thursday.

The virus, which forced Hamilton to be hospitalized for part of Friday, cost the league's RBI leader four games and 10 pounds off his normal playing weight of 230.

Hamilton saw action in Monday night's series opener, entering to play the outfield in the ninth inning. According to manager Ron Washington, Hamilton would have hit had the pitcher's spot come up again.

"I'm probably about 80-85 percent, which is good," Hamilton said. "I'm feeling better, strength's coming back."

The virus worked its way through Hamilton's family, and he says his 3-year-old daughter, Michaela Grace, is still battling its effects. But Hamilton says the virus has "run its course" for him, and he has no concerns about playing tonight.