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Reluctant Hamilton given night off in Texas

Reluctant Hamilton given night off in Texas

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton wanted to be in the lineup on Monday night against the Angels.

Manager Ron Washington decided otherwise and gave Hamilton the night off against Angels left-hander Scott Kazmir. The move came after Hamilton was 1-for-13 with nine strikeouts during the Rangers' three-game series with the Blue Jays over the weekend in Toronto.

"He looks fatigued mentally and physically," Washington said. "I planned to give him a day off after yesterday and stuck with it."

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Hamilton didn't think a day off would do him any good.

"Absolutely not," Hamilton said. "It makes things worse mentally. If I'm not hitting, I still want to be in the lineup. I can still contribute defensively. But I don't make out the lineup, so I will do what I'm told."

The night off makes sense in one respect. Hamilton is hitting .191 against left-handers this season. He faced two left-handed starters in Toronto and seven of his 13 at-bats were against left-handers up there.

"Honestly I don't pay attention to the numbers," Hamilton said. "I had a tough series in Toronto, but, other than that, I feel like I'm swinging the bat good. I'm really not worried about that."

Washington's main goal is to keep all his players fresh for the entire 162-game season. Hamilton admitted the past few games have been a struggle.

"I've felt good all year but the last couple of games I've felt I didn't have a clue," Hamilton said. "Maybe that's why skip is giving me a day off, thinking that will help."

Hamilton is also hitting .206 in day games. Washington admitted he might give consideration to giving Hamilton a day off when the Rangers are playing in the afternoon. But it's hard to believe that would be a permanent situation.

"You've got to help a guy get through things if the numbers say he can't do something," Washington said. "But with his athletic ability, there's no reason why he can't deal with anything."

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