Sports

Hamilton set for debut against Tribe

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers will welcome Josh Hamilton back on Monday when they kick off a three-game set with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.

Hamilton was an All-Star in each of his five seasons (2008-12) with the Rangers and was the American League MVP for them in 2010. However, he left Texas after the 2012 season, signing a 5-year, $125 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

After two unsuccessful seasons with the Angels, though, Hamilton relapsed with drugs and alcohol this past winter, while also nursing a shoulder injury. Los Angeles quickly moved to cut ties with him and sent him back to Texas, essentially for nothing.

"I've always wanted to play the game the right way. Play hard, give what you have, leave it out there. If you do that, then you don't have to answer to anybody," Hamilton said Saturday, when his stint at Triple-A Round Rock ended with a rained-out game. "Hopefully, people in my career have enjoyed watching me play."

Texas manager Floyd Bannister indicated that Hamilton will start in left field and will likely hit either second or fifth in the batting order.

Hamilton's return couldn't come at a better time for Texas, which is in the midst of a five-game winning streak following a three-game sweep of the New York Yankees over the weekend. On Sunday, Yovani Gallardo went six innings, giving up just one hit over the last five, as Texas beat New York, 5-2.

Adam Rosales hit a two-run homer for Texas and Prince Fielder was 3-for-5 with two RBI, raising his AL-leading average to .358 this season.

"It's big," Gallardo said of the sweep. "To come out and play the way we've been playing shows the talent in this clubhouse and the hard work that guys have put into it."

Getting the call for the Rangers on Monday will be righty Phil Klein, who will be making his second big league start. Klein beat the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, holding them to a run and five hits over 5 1/3 innings to improve to 1-0, while lowering his ERA to 4.50.

Cleveland, meanwhile, will hand the ball to righty Shaun Marcum, who picked up his first win since 2013 on Wednesday in Chicago. Marcum gave up a pair of runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings of that one.

He is 2-0 with a 4.30 ERA in five starts versus the Rangers, but hasn't faced them since 2010.

Cleveland is also rolling heading into this series with wins in its last six games. The Tribe finished off a three-game sweep of the slumping Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, as Trevor Bauer tossed 7 2/3 solid innings and Cleveland won, 5-2.

Bauer (4-1) gave up one run on five hits while striking out four and walking none. The right-hander has allowed one run in each of his last three starts.

Carlos Santana, David Murphy and Nick Swisher had one RBI apiece for the Indians, who have won eight of their last 10.

Cleveland, which took two of three in Texas earlier in the season, could continue to pile up the wins, as it has won six straight at home versus the Rangers and has won 13 of 15 overall.