ARLINGTON, Texas – It’s Josh Hamilton’s turn to rest.
The Rangers’ red-hot slugger isn’t in the lineup for Thursday’s 1:05 p.m. game against the Oakland A’s. He is the sixth and final Rangers regular to get a planned day off during this homestand.
Mike Napoli and Ian Kinsler were off Monday, then Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus were rested Tuesday. The Rangers lost both of those games to the Royals. Michael Young was off for Wednesday's win against Oakland. Now it’s time for Hamilton, who has a 16-game hitting streak, to sit.
“It was as simple as it was to give the rest of them the day off,” manager Ron Washington said when asked whether it was difficult to leave Hamilton’s name out of the lineup. “Just had to pick his day.”
Hamilton, who leads the American League in the Triple Crown categories with a .404 average, 18 home runs and 45 RBIs, might be used as a pinch-hitter. The plan, however, is to give the MVP candidate a full day off before the Rangers head to Houston to start a seven-game road trip.
“I’m not going to have a chance to win a ballgame and have him sitting on the bench, but my intention is not to use him,” Washington said. “That’s my intention. My intention is to give him a whole day, but you never know."
UPDATE: Hamilton entered Thursday's game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and went o-for-2, ending his hitting streak.