Baseball

Aching Hamilton unsure of return

American League batting leader Josh Hamilton isn’t sure when his rib injury will heal enough for him to rejoin the lineup of the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.

“I have no clue when I’ll be back,” he said Sunday. “I really don’t. Your guess is as good as mine.”

Hamilton ran into the left-field wall at Minnesota on Saturday and bruised his ribs. He said all he can do for now is apply ice and hope he feels better.

“I feel like I’ve been in a car wreck,” he said.

Hamilton said he felt the same way last year after running into a wall at Toronto, an injury that forced him to miss 13 games.

Hamilton is hitting .361 with 31 home runs and 97 RBI.

The Rangers lead Oakland by eight games and have 26 games remaining in the regular season.

COX SNUBBED IN MIAMI

Retiring Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox has received an assortment of going-away gifts this year from other teams, including a Wrigley Field seat and an autographed Stan Musial photo.

The Florida Marlins gave Cox a snub.

Florida’s three-game weekend series against NL East rival Atlanta ended Sunday without any ceremony for Cox, who criticized Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria earlier this season.

Cox has been honored in every other city when the Braves have made their final visit of the season – even by American League teams such as the Twins and White Sox.

But there was no ceremony or gift for Cox when the Braves played in Miami for the final time this year.

MAZEROSKI STATUE UNVEILED

Bill Mazeroski, an elite infielder who made it to the Hall of Fame because of his many Gold Gloves and one big swing, now has a bronze statue honoring that most memorable moment.

Four of Mazeroski’s 1960 Pirates teammates tugged away a protective cover Sunday to unveil a 14-foot, 2,000-pound statue depicting the second baseman, the only player to end a World Series Game 7 with a home run.

Mazeroski is portrayed during his jubilant dash around the bases after his homer off Ralph Terry decided the Pirates’ 10-9 victory in Game 7 against the favored New York Yankees that season.

SHORT HOPS

Cliff Lee will not make his scheduled start Tuesday for Texas at Toronto because of a sore back. Lee threw a bullpen session Sunday and his back loosened up. Lee, 10-8 this season with a 3.37 earned run average, is 2-5 with a 4.69 ERA since going to the Rangers from the Seattle Mariners in a July trade. … New York Mets ace Johan Santana will miss his next scheduled start because of a strained left pectoral muscle.

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