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04/26/09 12:23 PM ET

Hamilton rests bruised left ribs

All-Star slugger expected to return to lineup Monday

BALTIMORE -- Josh Hamilton's powers of persuasion aren't quite what they used to be.

Hamilton was unable to talk his way into the lineup on Sunday in Baltimore. Instead, manager Ron Washington gave him a day off to help heal his bruised left ribs. Washington and trainer Jamie Reed are hoping a day of rest plus extra time before a night game on Monday might make a difference.

"He sat up there for 20 minutes trying to convince me he could play," Washington said. "It just didn't work. He's feeling much better, but we decided to take the precaution and give him a whole day off."

Hamilton had a cortisone shot in the area on Saturday. He also had to come out of Saturday night's game in the sixth inning because he was having trouble breathing while running the bases.

"I scared them a little bit coming out of the game because I couldn't breathe," Hamilton said. "It's frustrating, because I was starting to feel a little better at the plate. Don't look for me to not be in the lineup [Monday]."

Hamilton originally injured the rib cage running into a wall in Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays. Basically, his arm got caught between the wall and his body, and Hamilton "elbowed" himself in the ribcage.

He didn't start on Wednesday, but had an RBI grounder as a pinch-hitter late in the game. Since then, Hamilton has gone 4-for-12 at the plate in three games, raising his average from .226 to .246.

Hamilton had changed his stance in the offseason, trying to get away from the "toe-tap" with the front foot that he used last year. Hamilton and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo thought he would be more consistent without it. The new stance seemed to work in Spring Training, but he hasn't been comfortable with it during the season. So last week, he went back to what worked for him last year.

"It's been good," Hamilton said. "My at-bats have been better. I'm not swinging at pitches all over the place."

With Hamilton out, David Murphy was back in the lineup in left field Sunday, trying to snap his 0-for-22 start. The team record for most at-bats without a hit to start the season was an 0-for-25 start by infielder Ted Kubiak in 1972.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.