- - Sunday, February 26, 2012

SURPRISE, Ariz. — When it comes to the Texas Rangers, star Josh Hamilton wants to make this clear: “My loyalty is here.”

A couple days after his comments led some to wonder about his future, the former AL MVP clarified his remarks Sunday. Hamilton is eligible for free agency after this season.

“If it does go to free agency, the first place I’m coming is here,” Hamilton said. “If I owe anything, it is that.”

Hamilton has helped the Rangers win two straight AL pennants. His agent and Rangers recently put off talks on a new deal after Hamilton had a relapse with alcohol.

On Friday, Hamilton said: “The Rangers have done a lot for me, but I’ve got a question for y’all: Have I done a lot for the Rangers? I think I’ve given them everything I’ve had.”

“I love Texas. I love my fans. … I love my teammates. I love everything about it,” he said then. “But I’m not going to sit here and say that I owe the Rangers. I don’t feel like I owe the Rangers.”

Indians closer Perez out 4-6 weeks ith muscle strain

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Chris Perez couldn’t finish his first bullpen session without trouble.

Cleveland’s All-Star closer will miss at least one month and possibly six weeks with a strained left side muscle he injured throwing off the mound for the first time in spring training.

It’s the second significant injury in camp already for the Indians, who announced Friday that center fielder Grady Sizemore will not be ready for opening day because of a strained lower back.

Perez, who had 36 saves in 40 chances and a 3.32 ERA in 64 games last season, was hurt during the latter stages of his workout.

TWINS: Minnesota reliever Joel Zumaya has a torn ligament in his right elbow and will miss the season, the latest setback for the hard thrower who has been plagued by injuries since 2006. He lasted just 13 pitches in his first session of live batting practice Saturday before walking off the mound with pain in his elbow.

Zumaya had signed an incentive-laden, one-year deal with the Twins. He had not thrown a pitch since June 2010 after breaking his elbow while pitching for Detroit in a game at Target Field.

BRAVES: Atlanta right-hander Tommy Hanson was back on the field, his first appearance in uniform since a car wreck left him with a mild concussion. Hanson did some light throwing, supervised by the training staff. He went 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA last season.

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