Rangers’ Hamilton in hospital for intestinal virus

Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton was hospitalized early

Friday after becoming dehydrated because of an intestinal virus and

likely will miss the weekend series against Houston.

The Rangers said Hamilton was receiving fluids in the hospital

because of a virus going around his family. He was expected to be

released by Saturday.

Hamilton was replaced in the field late Thursday night in an

11-3 loss to Arizona after telling manager Ron Washington that he

had a stomach ache. Before that, the manager had seen nothing to

indicate Hamilton wasn’t feeling good.

”That’s why he came out, he said he had a stomach ache,”

Washington said. ”I didn’t know it was going to lead to him being

in the hospital.”

Outfielder Leonys Martin was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock

and in the lineup for the series opener Friday night against the

Astros. Martin was batting ninth and playing center field.

To make room on the 25-man roster, the AL West-leading Rangers

placed right-handed reliever Koji Uehara on the 15-day disabled

list. Uehara’s move is retroactive to Sunday, a day after he

strained a back muscle pitching at San Francisco.

Rangers left-hander Derek Holland is still on the 15-day

disabled list because of shoulder fatigue after losing about 15

pounds over a two-week period because of a stomach virus. Holland

threw off flat ground Friday, and the earliest he could be

activated is Thursday.

Outfielder Nelson Cruz was held out of the Texas starting lineup

Tuesday and Wednesday because of a virus. Cruz was so ill when he

got to Rangers Ballpark on Tuesday that he was sent home.

”I’ve never experienced this in all the years I’ve been in the

game,” Washington said. ”But there’s quite a few guys up there

who haven’t gotten it.”

The Rangers said the cases weren’t related, but that the

clubhouse is sanitized periodically. That has been done since

Holland first got sick.

Hamilton, second in the AL with a .330 batting average, is tied

for the majors lead with 22 home runs and has a majors-best 62

RBIs.

”Going to miss Hamilton. You don’t want your best player not to

be in the lineup, but there’s nothing you can do about it,”

Washington said. ”He won’t be available (Saturday). … Then got a

day game on Sunday, so he’s probably gone for this weekend.”

Martin was hitting .344 with five homers and 22 RBIS in 31 games

at Round Rock.

Michael Young, the Rangers designated hitter, moved up to the

No. 3 spot in the batting order to replace Hamilton. Young and

other teammates didn’t even know Hamilton had been

hospitalized.

”Hopefully, he gets better as soon as possible, but it’s part

of playing in the big leagues,” Young said. ”Sometimes it’s not

always smooth sailing. You have to find a way to weather the storm

and keeping fighting, keep grinding away. That’s the nature of the

big leagues.”

The Rangers had planned to make the move with Uehara on

Saturday, when they will have to clear a spot on the 25-man roster

to promote right-hander Justin Grimm from Double-A Frisco for his

major league debut in a start against the Astros. Now the team will

have to make another move to purchase Grimm’s contract.

”Because of this issue with Hamilton, we had to bring up

another body,” Washington said. ”This wasn’t planned.”