Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Embattled outfielder Josh Hamilton went 0- for-3 with a run scored, one walk and two strikeouts in his season debut.
Hamilton started in left field and batted fifth in the Texas Rangers' 10-8 win over the Cleveland Indians on Monday.
Texas acquired Hamilton from the Angels on April 27 while he was still on the disabled list recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He was activated from the 15-day DL prior to Monday's game.
He played 12 games in the minors on rehab assignment and hit .364 with one home run and six RBI.
"It was good to get the first at-bat out of the way, I was a little nervous up there," said Hamilton. "After that, second at-bat I was feeling pretty good. It was just good to be out there. It was good to feel the energy in the dugout."
To make room on the roster, the Rangers placed pitcher Neftali Feliz on the 15-day disabled list with an axillary abscess on his right side. The right- hander is 1-2 with a 5.09 ERA and six saves in 17 games this season. He was recently removed from the closer role.
Hamilton had an alcohol and cocaine relapse last offseason. Last month it was disclosed Hamilton would not face discipline from Major League Baseball following his recent relapse into substances of abuse. An arbitrator was called in to decide the case.
The veteran outfielder was suspended between Feb. 2004 and June 2006 for well-documented issues with substance abuse and undergoes regular drug testing as a condition of his reinstatement into baseball in 2006.
The 34-year-old slugger beat his early addiction problems and became one of the game's most feared hitters over a five-year span with the Texas Rangers from 2008-12. Hamilton was named an AL All-Star in each of those seasons and captured the league's MVP award in 2010 when he batted .359 with 32 homers and 100 RBI and helped the Rangers to the World Series.
Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels in December of 2012, but had a disappointing first season with the club and was limited to just 89 games by injuries last year.
The 1999 No. 1 overall pick managed just 10 homers and 44 RBI along with a .263 average in 2014, missing nearly two months with a thumb injury and most of September with shoulder problems. Hamilton returned for the AL Division Series, but was hitless in 13 at-bats as the Angels were swept by Kansas City.
Hamilton admitted to having brief relapses with alcohol in both 2009 and 2012, though those incidents were not punishable under MLB's current drug policy.