Hamilton gearing up for return

Hamilton gearing up for return

OAKLAND -- Josh Hamilton could find out on Tuesday how soon he will be ready to return to the Rangers lineup. It could be a big day for him.

Hamilton, who has been sidelined since Sept. 2 with a pinched nerve in his lower back, resumed workouts on Monday after backing off for four days. He took some swings off a tee and off soft-toss pitching in the batting cage, and did some running in the outfield.

All went well. He will try to increase his baseball activities on Tuesday to include on-field batting practice against live pitching.

"It feels all right," Hamilton said. "The biggest thing is after I do some baseball activities tomorrow, to see how I feel. The last time I tried to do something two days in a row, it wasn't good. "

That happened last week in Arlington, which is why Hamilton backed off for four days.

"The second day was not good," Hamilton said. "We'll see tomorrow. Hopefully it will let me play some."

The Rangers have been without Hamilton and third baseman Michael Young for most of September. Young, who had a setback last week when he aggravated his left hamstring muscle, is not ready to return.

He did some running in the outfield on Monday but did not take batting practice. He is not expected to play on Tuesday and probably won't play during the Rangers' four-game series in Oakland.

"I don't know yet when I'll be ready," Young said. "I re-aggravated it last week. This time I want to get it right."

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Brandon McCarthy (7-3, 4.97 ERA)
McCarthy is coming off a 6-1 loss to the Athletics on Tuesday in which he allowed four runs in three-plus innings. He is now 2-1 with a 5.17 ERA in three starts since returning at the beginning of September after missing three months with a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade. He is 3-2 with a 6.10 ERA in seven starts on the road, where opponents are hitting .302 off him as opposed to .199 on the road. He is 1-4 with an 8.27 ERA in his career against the Athletics, his highest ERA against any opponent.

OAK: RHP Trevor Cahill (9-12, 4.54 ERA)
Cahill is riding a three-game winning streak, and has a six-game unbeaten stretch. He's lowered his ERA from 5.13 to its current level over the course of the past eight games. He gave up one hit over seven shutout innings and recorded a career-high seven strikeouts in his last start, a 4-0 victory over the Rangers in Texas. He'll be making his fourth start against the Rangers, against whom he is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA and an opponents' batting average of .192.

Justin Smoak hit his ninth home run in the IBAF World Cup tournament in Italy on Monday. The United States is now 8-1 after a 4-3 victory over Australia and has advanced to the final round. Smoak's nine home runs are the most all-time by an American player in the World Cup. ... Jarrod Saltalamacchia underwent surgery on Monday for thoracic outlet syndrome. Saltalamacchia had a bone removed from his right rib cage that was pressing on a nerve and causing pain and numbness in his arm and fingers. A two- to three-month recovery time is expected. ... Matt Harrison, who had similar surgery on July 27, pitched an inning without problem in the instructional league on Monday.

 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• 105.3 The Fan, KFLC 1270 (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Rangers (Tommy Hunter, 8-4, 3.25) at Athletics (Clay Mortensen, 2-2, 6.12), 9:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Rangers (Scott Feldman, 17-5, 3.62) at Athletics (Brett Anderson, 10-10, 4.21), 2:35 p.m. CT
• Friday: Rangers (Derek Holland, 7-12, 6.17) vs. Rays (James Shields, 10-11, 4.09), 7:05 p.m. CT

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.