Hamilton has brief day off before pinch-hitting

Hamilton has brief day off before pinch-hitting

Hamilton has brief day off before pinch-hitting
ARLINGTON -- Every regular in the Rangers' lineup got a day off this week except one. On Thursday, Josh Hamilton got his, albeit until the eighth inning.

"It was just as simple as it was to give the rest of them a day off," said manager Ron Washington. "Just had to pick a day."

Hamilton, who extended his hit streak to an American League-best 16 games during Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Athletics, was out of the starting lineup Thursday. David Murphy filled in for Hamilton in left field and batted fifth. Hamilton leads the AL with a .399 batting average, 18 home runs and 45 RBIs.

His 16-game hit streak, the longest in his career since a 23-game stretch in June 2010, came to an end during Thursday's 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Athletics. Hamilton entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Craig Gentry in the eighth inning and went 0-for-2.

"It allows you to be stress-free for a few innings," Hamilton said. "Not really having to think about the game, but just out there supporting your teammates and encouraging them. If we have a day off, about the sixth inning, I'm still getting ready. In about the sixth inning, I went to the cage, and I was ready to go."

Michael Young was hitting third in the Rangers' lineup, where Hamilton normally bats, as the designated hitter.

"We have a lot of established guys in our lineup," Young said. "Josh is on an incredible tear, but we really have a talented team with a bunch of established hitters so that's not really an issue right now."