The Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Texas Rangers recalled infielder Joaquin Arias from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned righthander Doug Mathis to the same club prior to Wednesday night's game against the Detroit Tigers.

The Rangers needed Arias as a backup with starting second baseman Ian Kinsler out of the starting lineup due to a strained left hamstring.

Kinsler said the injury isn't serious and he expects to be back on the field soon. Omar Vizquel, the club's only reserve infielder until Arias was recalled, got the start at second base Wednesday night.

"It's a lot better than I thought it would be," said Kinsler, the team's RBI leader with 63. "Hopefully I'll be ready by tomorrow."

Kinsler sustained the injury while running to first base in the sixth inning of Tuesday night's 7-3 victory over Detroit, and was removed from the game prior to the seventh. He said he had a similar hamstring problem as a minor leaguer and didn't miss much time.

"We had to get some backup on that infield," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "(Kinsler) came in today and told me he could play, and that's great news. But I'm still going to give him the day (off)."

Arias is in his second stint with the Rangers this season, although he did not appear in a big league game during his first stay May 9-11. He was batting .276 with five homers and 47 RBIs in 89 games for Oklahoma City.

Called up late last season, Arias hit .291 in 32 games for Texas and has a career major league average of .314.

Mathis came out of the bullpen for Tuesday night's start in place of Vicente Padilla, who is still recovering from swine flu. Mathis allowed three runs in four innings of a no-decision, and four other relievers pitched shutout ball the rest of the way.

Mathis has thrown 17 scoreless innings as a reliever this season and has 22 career scoreless innings out of the bullpen.