Hamilton, Laird out of Texas lineup
Slugger home for daughter's birth; catcher sits with back strain
BOSTON -- Outfielder Josh Hamilton and catcher Gerald Laird were both out of the lineup for Thursday's game with the Red Sox.Hamilton is back home in Texas where his wife, Katie, gave birth to the couple's third child, Michaela, on Thursday. Manager Ron Washington said he doesn't expect Hamilton back until Saturday. "I say Saturday, but Ham may show up [Friday]," Washington said. "He may want to get away from it all. But I'm expecting him back Saturday." Laird was out of the lineup for the second day with a strained muscle in his back, an injury that apparently occurred on Tuesday in the first game against the Red Sox. He may get an injection to relieve the pain when he gets back to Texas on Friday. "I have no idea how this happened," Laird said. "I can't remember a swing or any one thing. The first game, it was sore, but I really didn't think about it. The next morning I got up, and I really couldn't get it loose." Jarrod Saltalamacchia started at catcher for the second straight game. The Rangers also remain without third baseman Hank Blalock, who is on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder and is not going to be returning anytime soon. Instead Washington has taken control of his workouts and will decide personally when Blalock is ready to go. Blalock was hoping to start a medical rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Frisco on Friday, but Washington doesn't think he's ready. Washington wants to continue working with him in throwing drills before the game and probably won't let Blalock go to the Minors for another week. "He's progressing, but I want to make sure he keeps progressing before I send him out there," Washington said. "That's to make sure he's right. I'm handling it. I'm not relying on anybody else. I want Hank to feel clean in his mind."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.