Back spasms keep Hamilton out of starting lineup

Back spasms keep Hamilton out of starting lineup

ANAHEIM -- Josh Hamilton didn't expect to still be dealing with back spasms.

"I've never had it last this long," Hamilton said Thursday night, after being scratched from the lineup for the second time in three days. "It's usually only like a few hours."

Hamilton was a late scratch from the Angels' lineup on Tuesday and Thursday, though he came in as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning of the Angels' 3-2 win in the Freeway Series finale.

Hamilton first experienced pain in the middle-right portion of his back after his last swing of batting practice on Tuesday, then spent the rest of the night in the trainer's room, took muscle relaxers before going to bed, saw a chiropractor on Wednesday morning, started that night's game and played all the way through despite experiencing tightness around the third inning.

He arrived to the ballpark early on Thursday, taking early batting practice and running on the field, but was scratched 90 minutes prior to game time. The back wasn't responding the way he expected it to.

Hamilton nonetheless doesn't anticipate missing any additional time with the back ailment -- then again, he said that Wednesday.

"It's nothing else," Hamilton said. "I've been checked out. As far as the back and everything, ribs, all that stuff is good."

"He's not 100 percent," Angels manager Mike Scioscia added, "but he can go out there and play defense."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.