ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton was once a bona fide Triple Crown candidate.His 28 home runs this season were tied with Adam Dunn for the Major League lead, and he had 78 RBIs entering Monday, one behind Miguel Cabrera's Major League-leading 79. But over Hamilton's last 12 games, he had only six hits, two of them home runs, dropping his batting average to .293. Despite the fact that Hamilton struck out 14 times on the Rangers' 10-game road trip, manager Ron Washington still has faith in him. "He's going to rise to the challenge," Washington said. "This game will humble you. Don't ever think you're better than this game. It will knock you down. He's been challenged. ... That's the beauty of this game. When you're challenged, that's when you figure out what you're made of. It's not when you're doing well. When you're not doing well, that's when you find out the character and makeup of someone. Josh will show us what he's all about."
Perez back with Rangers, to start Tuesday
ARLINGTON -- After he returned to Triple-A Round Rock following a three-week stint with the Rangers, Martin Perez said he didn't think he would be in the Minors long. He just didn't think he would back in the big leagues this quickly."I didn't expect to be back this soon," Perez said. "But they brought me back because they trust me. And if they trust me, I have to fulfill what they expect from me." With Colby Lewis returning to the 15-day disabled list and done for the year with a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow, Perez was called up from Round Rock less than a week after he was optioned. Perez went 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in four appearances with the Rangers, including two starts, after being called up June 26. He won his first Major League start, allowing two runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings in a 7-2 win over the A's on June 30. "Being in the Major Leagues is a big responsibility," Perez said. "I was told by the manager that I did my job, but things happen. I didn't get mad because they sent me down. But I'm happy to be back." Perez will replace Lewis in the rotation and start Tuesday against the Red Sox. "We told him when we sent him down that we would not hesitate to bring him back if the opportunity presented itself," manager Ron Washington said. "There's no pitch limit. It's just going to be on how effective he is."
Murphy comfortable hitting against lefties
ARLINGTON -- A career .258 hitter against left-handed pitchers, David Murphy batted .215 without a home run in 107 at-bats against southpaws last season.This year, the left-handed-hitting Murphy was batting .333 (11-for-33) against lefties, while hitting .264 against righties entering Monday. Murphy, who usually only starts when the Rangers face righty starters, feels comfortable against left-handed pitching but thinks this season's sample size is too small to draw any meaningful conclusions. "I think I can hit lefties," Murphy said. "I don't really think there's any reason to analyze the splits unless the number of at-bats are close to equal, and they're not even close at this point. I don't think there's reason for a comparison right now." Murphy understands why he occasionally doesn't get an opportunity to face a left-hander late in games, especially considering how productive the right-handed-hitting Craig Gentry, who boasts a team-best .344 batting average against southpaws, has been at the plate this year. "I understand the role that I'm going to play," Murphy said. "More than anything, it's not my lack of ability. It's how well Craig has done that has dictated the moves made when I've been pinch-hit for. He always gets it done. There's no reason for an argument. I've always been the type of player that trusts my coaching staff."
Washington is hoping to have injured first baseman Mitch Moreland, who was placed on the DL with a strained left hamstring June 22, back for Sunday's series finale against the White Sox. Moreland will be on rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock Monday and Tuesday before joining his wife, Susannah, for the birth of his child Wednesday. He could play a couple of games for Double-A Frisco before returning.
There is no timetable for the returns of injured pitchers Mark Lowe (strained intercostal muscle) and Koji Uehara (strained lat), who had an MRI done Monday. Lowe pitched off a mound Sunday for the first time since being placed on the DL on June 29, throwing about 25 pitches.
Left-handed starting pitchers are 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA in their last five starts against the Rangers, who face Red Sox southpaw Felix Doubront on Monday.
Elvis Andrus went 2-for-3 with a double and sac fly in Sunday's loss to the Angels, extending his hit streak to 10 games and becoming the fifth player this season with three hitting streaks of at least 10 games.
Double-A outfielder Engel Beltre was named Texas League Player of the Month.
Roy Oswalt got an injection in his back while visiting a doctor in Houston on Monday and expects to miss only one start.
Neftali Feliz will make a rehab start at Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday, not Wednesday as originally scheduled.
Christian Corona is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.