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06/06/10 3:35 PM ET

Hamilton out of lineup with sore right knee

Rangers outfielder receives cortisone injection on Saturday

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton missed Sunday's finale against the Rays with soreness in his right knee.

Hamilton received a cortisone injection after Saturday's 6-1 win and took the day off to see how it feels. Rangers manager Ron Washington and Hamilton both expect him to play in Monday's opener against the Mariners.

"They said sometimes the fatty pad in your knee can get pinched and get inflamed," Hamilton said. "It's nothing that's so painful that I can't play with it.

"But it's given out a little bit. It was a good time to get it taken care of."

Washington said he isn't worried about the knee, which Hamilton said has been sore for about a month.

"No level of concern. He's been playing with that knee for quite a while," Washington said. "It's time we take care of it. That's all. He's playing tomorrow. He's pinch-hitting [Sunday] if I need him."

Hamilton homered in Saturday's win, and heading into Sunday's game, he was 10-for-22 this month, raising his batting average by 18 points to .299.

"He's been feeling it for a while," Washington said. "That could be some of the reason why you see him running after balls and falling down in the outfield. But Josh is turning a corner as far as how to gut things out. But at times, we've got to step in and help him."

Gentry gets start in left field

ARLINGTON -- With Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton sitting out Sunday's finale with right knee soreness, Craig Gentry got the start in left field.

Rangers manager Ron Washington has been pleased with Gentry's performance so far this year. After being recalled last Sunday for his second stint this season with the Rangers, he picked up his first career multi-RBI game against the White Sox when he started in center field. In that 9-6 Rangers win, Gentry went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.

"I joked with him the other day in Chicago when I said, 'Am I overstepping my boundaries playing you against a righty?' Washington said. "And he went up there and got us a sac fly."

Washington applauded Gentry's speed and defensive ability. Prior to being called up, he had been 7-for-8 in steal attempts with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

"The guy can play some defense, he can run," Washington said. "Every time he's played, he's been in the action. He's always ready to do whatever.

"I put on a hit-and-run and he looked like he could have stolen the bag. And I'm thinking, 'Geez, I should have just let him steal it.' He can fly."

Holland feels good after playing catch

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Derek Holland said he felt good after playing catch Saturday, the first time he had done so since being injured.

"It went fine. He said he felt good," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was definitely chirping [Saturday] about how good he felt."

Holland was placed on the disabled list last week after exiting his last start against Minnesota in the second inning with mild inflammation in his left rotator cuff.

Holland said he was planning on playing catch Sunday prior to the Rangers' finale with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Washington said that if Holland continues to feel well, he'll throw in the bullpen. No timetable has been set on that, however.

"Everything's OK so far," Holland said. "So far, so good. I don't know after that. I'm just taking it day-by-day."

Kinsler won't be moved from No. 3 hole

ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington remained adamant that second baseman Ian Kinsler would continue batting in the No. 3 spot in the batting order.

"As I said earlier, I'm not bouncing him around," Washington said. "We're going to help him come out of this."

Kinsler snapped what had been an 0-for-16 slump with a single to right-center field in the seventh inning of Saturday's 6-1 win over the Rays.

"Once he gets it going, he's dangerous," Washington said. "It just looks like, to me, that his rhythm is off. That's all. It happens.

"But I thought he had some better at-bats yesterday."

The No. 3 spot has been a struggle for the Rangers. Entering this weekend, that spot in the lineup had hit .250 on the season. In the club's first two games against the Rays, Kinsler is 1-for-6 with a run scored.

"Anytime somebody struggles, we can't keep moving them," Washington said. "I think you know by now, I hang with people. Whether someone thinks that's right or wrong, that's me. I won't change. But I thought he had some better at-bats yesterday."

Worth noting

Saturday's 6-1 win over the Rays snapped a five-game losing streak during the day for the Rangers. ... The Rangers are 7-1 against the Rays in the past two seasons at the Ballpark in Arlington. ... Texas committed three errors on Saturday, matching a season high which it set April 15 at Cleveland. ... Prior to Saturday's complete-game win by Tommy Hunter, the Rangers' bullpen had pitched 17 2/3 innings in the past five games. ... Hunter's complete game was the first in a season debut by a Rangers pitcher since Rick Helling in 1998.

Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.