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Angels OF Hamilton has soreness after injections in ailing shoulder, out for 6th straight game

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Josh Hamilton is hoping one step back will lead to a couple of steps forward with his ailing right shoulder.

The Los Angeles Angels outfielder was out of the lineup for a sixth straight game Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers after waking up with soreness a day after two more injections.

Hamilton hasn't played since leaving a game in the eighth inning last Thursday at Minnesota. He had a cortisone injection after that game.

The 2010 AL MVP said he hoped the soreness was from the injections "being in the right spot" and that he would see dramatic improvement Thursday.

Hamilton has been limited to 88 games because of injuries in his second season with the AL West-leading Angels. He is hitting .263 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs.

Hamilton, who missed almost two months with a torn ligament in his left thumb and more time because of a sore left knee, said he wasn't sure how much another lengthy absence would affect him.

"We always go back to this, but if I was raking the last two years it wouldn't be a problem," Hamilton said. "Then again, I missed almost four years and came back and raked. I can't tell you until I come back and starting playing."

Manager Mike Scioscia said his level of concern had already gone up Tuesday because he was expecting Hamilton back then. Scioscia said there wasn't a target date for a return.

The Angels finish a three-game series in Texas on Thursday and start their final homestand of the season on Friday against Houston. They started the day eight games ahead of Oakland in the division.

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