After much consternation and confusion about a medical issue that limited him to just three innings on the Texas Rangers' last road trip, Josh Hamilton returned with a bang Monday.
Specifically: His 43rd homer of the season, which gave him back the major league lead over Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera.
Over the weekend, doctors concluded Hamilton was dealing with ocular keratitis, a drying of the corneas that is usually the result of excessive caffeine intake. The main symptom is an inability to adjust the field of vision. Hamilton described the sensation as his eyes "being stuck ... hard to get off a spot."
Hamilton, who has a history of addiction, has struggled all year to try to reduce his reliance on tobacco. Caffeine became one way to deal with it. Now, he's begun decreasing his caffeine intake and is increasing the use of eye drops to help fight the condition.
Hamilton tested his eyes during a workout Sunday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The eyes are back to normal, he said.
The Rangers originally said Hamilton had a sinus condition and amended that to include blurred vision. Hamilton said his vision was never blurred.
"It wasn't impacting my vision," Hamilton said. "It was impacting my ability to be ready to play the game."
Hamilton went 1-for-3 with two walks as the Rangers earned a 5-4 win over the Oakland A's. Adrian Beltre's ninth-inning single knocked in the game-winning run.