TORONTO -- Right-hander Neftali Feliz will be starting for the first time since April 21, when he faces the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.

He has pitched one inning in relief since then, facing the New York Yankees last Wednesday.

Feliz, who turns 24 on Wednesday, was given more time between starts so that his innings can be controlled. He was the Rangers' closer for the past two seasons.

Manager Ron Washington has been working on keeping his rhythm between starts in various ways.

"He's been doing it, long-tossing, bullpens," Washington said before Monday's game at Rogers Centre. "He got that one inning in. He's fine. I don't think the rest is going to make him erratic in any sense."

Feliz is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in his first three Major League starts. In his one relief appearance he gave up a home run.

Hamilton misses first game with bad back

TORONTO -- A stiff back kept outfielder Josh Hamilton out of the starting lineup for the Rangers' game against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Monday.

Hamilton, who had started all 22 games, left Sunday's game against Tampa Bay after two innings after feeling a spasm in his back when he hit a first-inning single.

He indicated after Sunday's game that he would be able to play on Monday, but before the game manager Ron Washington said Hamilton still felt some discomfort.

"He came in with some discomfort, so we're still in a day-to-day mode," Washington said. "We'll just wait and see how everything goes today and then tomorrow make a decision on him. But right now he's day to day."

Washington said the problem is muscular and added that the artificial turf at Rogers Centre was not a factor in the decision.

"We're not going to let the turf stop us from putting our best team out there unless it's detrimental," Washington said. "He's just got some stiffness and we have to wait until he can do what he has to do comfortably. "

Washington did not discount the possibility of Hamilton perhaps being used as a pinch-hitter on Monday. He entered Monday batting .395 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs.

Young starts at third with Beltre in DH spot

TORONTO -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was used as the designated hitter in Monday's game against the Blue Jays, with Michael Young taking his spot at third base.

Manager Ron Washington said that he wanted to give Beltre's legs some rest by keeping him off the artificial turf of Rogers Centre.

"We're trying to protect his legs," Washington said. "It will also give Michael a chance to get some games on the field and not make Beltre have to go out there and stand on the turf for a long period of time."

Washington would not say whether he will do the same for Tuesday's second game of the series.

"We'll just wait and see," Washington said. "We just have to wait until [Tuesday] when I come and make my lineup, we'll see. We'll just go day-to-day on that. But today I wanted to get him off that turf."

It was Young's fourth start of the season at third base. He also has started four games at second base. Young batted third in the lineup, the spot usually occupied by outfielder Josh Hamilton who was not in Monday's lineup because of a stiff back.