Josh Hamilton out of the lineup again Monday following intestinal virus

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Josh Hamilton will miss his fourth straight game tonight after being hospitalized Friday with an intestinal virus. The good news, at least for the Rangers, is that he appears to be close to returning.

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Hamilton participated in an early workout this afternoon, which included shagging flyballs and taking batting practice. It shouldn’t be much longer, but Leonys Martin will start in his place in center field this evening against the Padres.

Hamilton, is hitting .330/.390/.674 with 22 home runs, 62 RBI and a 1.064 OPS this season. Adam Dunn passed him for the major league home run lead over the weekend, but the impending free agent still leads the majors in RBI.

Report: Nationals to interview Alex Cora for managerial position

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.

Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.

Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.