ARLINGTON, Texas – 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 A.L. MVP was batting third and playing center field for the Rangers, who defeated Oakland 5-4 Monday night for a five-game lead over the A’s in the A.L. West.
Hamilton’s home run Monday night gave him 43 and a one-homer margin over Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera for the MLB lead.