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TEX@SF: Hamilton blasts his 22nd homer of the year

Stopping Josh Hamilton has been arguably the toughest task in baseball this season.

Even a nasty stomach virus that sent the Rangers All-Star outfielder to the hospital on Friday appears it will have him sidelined for only four games.

Ten pounds lighter, Hamilton is expected to return to Texas' starting lineup in San Diego on Tuesday night. Hamilton leads the Majors in slugging percentage (.674) and RBIs (62), while his 22 homers and .330 average are among the leaders as well.

"My stomach's a little jacked up, but I hit early BP and it feels good," Hamilton said before Monday's game. "I told [manager Ron Washington] when I got here today I didn't wanna jump back into anything as far as the game. I wanted to come back in, get some work in, see how my body responds to it."

Apparently it responded well, as Washington used Hamilton in the ninth inning of the Rangers' 2-1 victory in left field.

Right-hander Edinson Volquez (3-6, 3.70 ERA) gets the unenviable task of trying to stop Hamilton. Volquez is coming off a solid start against the Mariners in which he allowed just one run in 6 2/3 innings.

Volquez ranks last in the Majors in run support, but he got six runs to work with in his last time out, and he made them hold up. He'll be looking to locate his fastball better on Tuesday, however, as he had to resort to off-speed pitches more frequently than he initially planned.

"The most impressive thing is that he didn't have the fastball command he's had in the past but he made up for it by throwing breaking balls for strikes," Padres catcher John Baker said. "That's a really impressive veteran performance by him."

Righty Scott Feldman gets the ball for Texas, still in search of his first win this season. He dropped his sixth straight decision against Arizona on Thursday, as his ERA rose to 6.50.

Rangers: Feliz throws for first time
• On Monday, righty Neftali Feliz threw for the first time since he was placed on the disabled list with a sprained elbow. Because he was moved to the 60-day DL, he isn't eligible to pitch until July 18.

Washington said Feliz threw lightly from about 40 feet before Monday's game. Feliz is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA this season.

• Closer Joe Nathan has converted 14 of his 15 save opportunities this season. His ERA dropped to 1.63 with a scoreless inning on Monday.

Padres: Forsythe day to day
• Logan Forsythe remains day to day heading into Tuesday's game with a left abdominal injury. His availability has been limited mostly to pinch-running opportunities.

"It's still day to day, but I think I'm available," Forsythe said before Monday's game, in which he didn't make an appearance. "Probably more running than hitting."

Forsythe is hitting .290 with a homer and four RBIs in 10 games this season.

• Outfielder Chris Denorfia is riding a 10-game hitting streak, which is tied for the longest by a Padres player this season. During that stretch, he is hitting .395.

Worth noting
• Third baseman Adrian Beltre is the only Rangers player with more than two at-bats against Volquez. He has just a hit and a walk in his 10 plate appearances.

• In 28 games against Texas, Padres left fielder Carlos Quentin is hitting .281 with 10 homers. The 10 long balls for Quentin, formerly with the White Sox, are the most against any team outside of the American League Central.

• Hamilton doesn't have an extra-base hit in 12 at-bats at Petco Park, but he has notched four singles.

• The Rangers can even the all-time series between the two teams at 12 wins apiece with a victory.

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