BALTIMORE — Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray could return from a nagging back injury as soon as Monday.

The right-hander, 12-4 with a 2.06 ERA, was scratched from his scheduled start against Toronto on Thursday after experiencing back spasms Wednesday.

Trainers treated him with muscle relaxants and a massage. On Thursday, he reported no pain after throwing for five minutes from 75 feet.

Before the A’s faced the Orioles on Friday, Gray said, “Thankfully it’s really kind of progressing better and better. I threw, and it really couldn’t have went any better.”

RANGERS: Josh Hamilton was back in the Texas lineup after an MRI showed no structural damage in his sore left knee, and left-hander Cole Hamels is on track to make his next start.

After missing the past two games, Hamilton had the exam Friday and says he can play with pain without hurting his knee more. He was hitting sixth and playing left field for the series opener against Tampa Bay.

Hamels was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday because of a sore left groin. He threw a bullpen session before Friday’s game and says everything felt “pretty good.”

YANKEES: New York will honor Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit with a pregame ceremony before hosting the Blue Jays on Sept. 13. Rodriguez homered off Detroit’s Justin Verlander on June 19, becoming the 29th player to reach the 3,000-hit plateau.

Rodriguez said he was “in disbelief” upon learning of the planned celebration.

Manager Joe Girardi said he was pleased to see the Yankees pay tribute to the achievement.

TWINS: Reliever Blaine Boyer went on the 15-day disabled list because of an inflammation in his throwing elbow.

BRAVES: Atlanta signed veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson for the remainder of the season.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Jackson, 31, will work as a reliever. Gonzalez told Jackson he has the next seven weeks to use as an audition for next year.

BREWERS: Righty Mike Blazek was put on the 15-day day disabled list with a broken pitching hand and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

Manager Craig Counsell said the fracture would heal without surgery. Counsell said Blazek struggled playing catch Thursday but didn’t know how the injury occurred.

Blazek said the break was in the area of his small finger. He denied punching anything after Wednesday’s loss to the Cubs, when he gave up a game-ending home run in the 10th.