Notes: Adrian Beltre runs, tests hamstring

DETROIT -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre ramped up his workout on Wednesday, running some sprints in right field and going through a longer ground-ball session.

Beltre said progress is coming along "slowly," but that he'll do a little more going forward. The running is a good sign that Beltre's left hamstring is starting to feel a little better. Running the bases is still a big hurdle that Beltre must get over before he can head out on a rehab assignment.

"You can't really get a good judgment on a hamstring until you get them on the basepaths where he can take a lead and react, get back, run, stop, cut," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "That's when you start testing a hamstring. You can isolate what's going on through control stuff. But when you got to start reacting to somebody trying to pick you off, take off, stop, get back, now you start testing it. We haven't gotten there yet."

Beltre isn't likely to do that Thursday with a day game in Detroit. He could start that Friday in Arlington, depending on how he feels. Washington normally likes players to get 20 at-bats in a rehab assignment, but said Beltre might not need that many.

The strain was expected to keep him out two to three weeks. Beltre could be back before the three-week mark if he can run the bases and get out for a rehab assignment early next week and not have any setbacks.

Other notes:

* The Rangers have to file all the necessary paperwork to clear Craig Gentry for a rehab assignment as he returns from a DL stint with concussion symptoms. Gentry said he isn't having any symptoms, but they have to get things cleared with the doctors. If so, Gentry would head on a rehab assignment for probably three games this weekend -- Friday through Sunday -- should everything be in order. That would allow him to return to the club early next week for a home series with Seattle.

* Josh Hamilton is in center field again on Wednesday. Manager Ron Washington said he wanted to give Endy Chavez a chance to "catch his breath" and get a break after playing a lot lately. The plan is for Chavez to play CF on Thursday in the 12:05 p.m. start.

* David Murphy has been given more at-bats and he's taken advantage. He's hit safely in 10 of his last 14 games and is batting .372 in that span. He's 5-for-11 in his last three games. Murphy usually plays well in the second half and seems set up to do so again.

* Washington expects a tight race in the AL West the entire season with the Angels playing well and pulling within a game of the Rangers with a win last night. "It will probably go to the wire," Washington said. "It might end up be the head-to-head-type stuff."