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Shoulder pain limits Hamilton to start at DH

Shoulder pain limits Hamilton to start at DH

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Shoulder pain limits Hamilton to start at DH

ST. PETERSBURG -- Josh Hamilton's left shoulder continues to bother him when he throws. On Tuesday, it prompted him to be removed from the game for defense in the bottom of the ninth. On Wednesday, it forced him to start at designated hitter for the 10th time this month.

Hamilton has battled random shoulder pain since undergoing surgery for an impingement in 2002. It most recently bothered him in late May, prompting him to get a cortisone shot, and it flared up on him again a couple of days ago. The 32-year-old slugger, unsure if he'll need another cortisone shot, expects to also DH for Thursday's series finale and hopes to start throwing again during the weekend series in Milwaukee.

"It's one of those things that you have to stay consistent with, with exercises and things like that, and then sometimes, even when you do that, it still flares up," Hamilton said of his left shoulder. "A lot of times it's good, but sometimes it just flares up."

Hamilton, with a .343/.413/.537 slash line over his previous 16 games, believes the shoulder is "good enough" to hit.

"I can feel it, but more on like a check swing," he said. "I don't see it being a problem."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

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