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June 24, 2012

Sunday's Rangers notes: Hamilton's struggles; rotation set through All-Star break?

Josh Hamilton was the best player in the American League in April and May. In June, though, the Texas Rangers slugger has struggled. He's hitting .191 with one home run and seven RBIs in 18 games this month.

Manager Ron Washington said he would like to see Hamilton be more patient, although that doesn't mean not swinging the bat. Washington wants Hamilton to be more selective of the pitches he swings at and stop chasing pitches out of the strike zone.

"Start swinging at strikes," Washington said.

Here are a few other pregame notes:

* The Rangers rotation appears to be set through the All-Star break. Justin Grimm, Yu Darvish and Roy Oswalt are scheduled to start the three-game series against Detroit that begins on Monday followed by Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison opening a four-game series against Oakland. That is how the rotation is expected to go until the All-Star break. Derek Holland is throwing a bullpen session this afternoon, and is expected to need multiple rehab starts before rejoining the rotation. Manager Ron Washington said it was realisitic that Holland doesn't return to the Rangers' rotation until after the All-Star break.

* Craig Gentry is available today, and reported his right ankle is feeling better than it did on Saturday. However, the Rangers will be cautious on how they use Gentry and would prefer to keep him out of game action. Ideally, Gentry would return to the starting lineup on Tuesday against Detroit, which is scheduled to start a left-hander.

* Alexi Ogando and Neftali Feliz continue to rehab, but the Rangers are taking it slow with the two pitchers. Neither have been set to throw off a mound yet.

-- Drew Davison

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