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MLB notebook: Hamilton back in Rangers' lineup

| Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is tied for the AL lead with 42 homers before Monday's games. AP Photo/Jim Cowsert

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was back in the lineup Monday night for the opener of a four-game series against Oakland after being diagnosed with a cornea problem caused by caffeine that he described as a sugar high “times 10.”

Hamilton, who had missed five straight games, saw an optometrist Monday and was diagnosed with ocular keratitis, a drying of the cornea caused by too much caffeine and energy drinks.

“Drinking caffeine, coffee in the morning, coffee midday, energy drink before the game, chocolate after the game — all these things were compounding and making it worse and worse,” he said

Hamilton said he didn't have blurry vision.

“My vision was perfect. I don't know how to explain it to you all,” he said. “I was fixated on one spot. Call the doctor and let him explain it to you. It was impacting my ability to be ready to play the game.”

The 2010 AL MVP was batting third and playing center field for the Rangers, who entered Monday with a four-game lead over the A's in the AL West.

He began the night tied with Detroit's Miguel Cabrera for the AL lead with 42 home runs.

Nationals manager will rest starters

Nationals manager Davey Johnson plans to rest his regular players if Washington clinches the NL East — and he doesn't care one bit what anyone else thinks.

The Nationals entered Monday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers with a magic number of six for clinching the division title. The rest of Washington's regular-season opponents are still in the chase for wild-card berths, including the St. Louis Cardinals.

And if other clubs hope the Nationals will put their best lineup on the field against the Cardinals?

“I'm resting my regulars. End of conversation,” Johnson said.

Twins' Capps returns to roster

The Minnesota Twins activated reliever Matt Capps from the disabled list.

The move will give the former Pirates closer an opportunity to pitch a few more times before the season ends. The right-hander had 14 saves in 15 attempts before experiencing irritation in his throwing shoulder and landing on the DL on June 25. He came off two weeks later, pitched twice and had to be put back on with more discomfort July 17.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said Capps “came in all excited” about his return to the active roster. The Twins have a $6 million option on his contract for 2013, which they'll likely decline and pay him a $250,000 buyout instead.

Eye infection plagues Athletics' Crisp

Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp was not in the starting lineup for a sixth straight game with an infection in both eyes.

Athletics manager Bob Melvin said Crisp has seen three doctors, including a visit to a specialist in New York on Sunday.

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