Josh Hamilton goes 4-for-5 in latest rehab game, speaks about relationship with Arte Moreno

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Josh Hamilton’s rehab tour continued Saturday evening at Double-A Frisco, where the 33-year-old slugger smacked four singles in five at-bats and drove in one run as the RoughRiders fell 15-14 in a barn-burner against the Astros’ Double-A team.

Hamilton played center field in this one — for a full nine innings — and that could be where he gets regular playing time when he returns to the majors given that Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin has struggled mightily with injuries and ineffectiveness.

Before the game Saturday at Frisco’s Dr. Pepper Ballpark, Hamilton once again addressed his messy departure from the Angels. And he revealed something pretty interesting. Tom Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News has the story …

Hamilton spelled out in no uncertain terms that he tried on a number of occasions over the last two years to speak to [Angels owner Arte Moreno] about his hitting problems and other issues but was repeatedly told by general manager Jerry DiPoto that he would deliver the message.

“I wanted to talk to [Moreno] and tell him, ‘I’m working my butt off and want to be the guy that played against you all these years,’ but I was turned down by the GM and the team president. They said they would let him know,” Hamilton said.

“Same thing after this incident [his offseason relapse] and the [shoulder] surgery. I did what I needed to do to be a responsible man and employee and reach out to him. So my hands are clean.”

It’s a little difficult to entirely buy the “my hands are clean” part, but shame on Moreno if he truly refused to have a conversation with Hamilton. How does that help the lack of mutual trust? It only grows it.

Hamilton will play another game at Double-A Frisco on Sunday and then head to Triple-A Round Rock for games Tuesday and Wednesday. He could re-debut for the Rangers on Friday at Yankee Stadium.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.