Rangers' Josh Hamilton thinks he has hernia

Last year's American League most valuable player was said to have a strained left groin, an injury that has bothered him for more than a month. But now Hamilton thinks he may actually have a sports hernia, a more serious condition that generally requires surgery to repair.

Hamilton, who missed a month of the 2009 season after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia, said he hasn't had any tests to prove his theory but said the pain he's experiencing is similar to what he had two years ago. And it seems to have robbed him of his power since Hamilton, who hit 25 home runs during the regular season, has gone 68 at-bats without another.

Texas General Manager Jon Daniels and Manager Ron Washington said it doesn't really matter what Hamilton's diagnosis proves to be since the Rangers intend to leave him in their World Series lineup.

"As I keep saying, he's dealing with some nagging injuries," Washington said. "But they're not injuries that he can't play [with]."

Cards come up aces

Hamilton wasn't the only All-Star to break out of a slump Saturday.

Three hitters in the heart of the St. Louis lineup — Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina, who combined for one hit in St. Louis — all played big roles in the Cardinals' Game 3 onslaught.

Pujols, who finished with six runs batted in, started two rallies with singles then homered in his next three trips, with the first hitting off the facing of the third deck in left field.

Holliday reached base four times, scoring twice. And Molina had two doubles and four RBIs while also scoring a run of his own.

Ranger redux

The Rangers made it to the World Series for the first time in franchise history last fall. But after losing to the San Francisco Giants in five games, Jon Daniels said his team had some unfinished business to attend this season.

"We didn't want to be known as a one-hit wonder," he said Saturday. "We don't want to look back 10 years from now and say it was a nice accomplishment but we weren't able to build on it."

With his team back in the Series, Daniels is upping that ante, saying even that isn't much of an accomplishment if you don't win.

"The reality is there are a lot of teams that are able to get there once. We're not happy with getting there twice," he said. "We want to win it and try to build something where we look back after 10 years and we're not just comparing, you know, who's better, 2010 versus 2011. But 2011 versus 2015, 2013 versus 2018."

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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