ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington elected to rest outfielder Josh Hamilton on Wednesday against the Pirates, despite his recent tear at the plate. Hamilton is riding a career-high 17-game hitting streak and is hitting .485 (33-68) with eight home runs and 24 RBIs over that span. It's the longest streak by a Rangers player since Michael Young's 18-game streak from August 13-31 last season. "He's human," Washington said. "He deserves a day off. He got it. We've been winning without everyone else in that lineup so we'll have to do it without Josh in that lineup."
Washington said Hamilton needed a day off but insisted it had nothing to do with the knee soreness that forced him to rest earlier in the month. "He's been playing since June 1, and he's been grinding," Washington said. "It's hot out there. Mutually, we decided that today is a good day for him to have off. We think that whoever is in that lineup, that's who we're going to go out there and play with." Washington said he reached the decision earlier on Wednesday, and Hamilton was fine with the move. "He came in today and we talked about it," Washington said. "He felt like this was a good time, and I felt like it was a good time. ... I've given a lot of guys a day off so far, and he's one that hasn't had one." Washington insisted he's confident in the Rangers' ability to win without Hamilton in the lineup, and that includes with his replacement, David Murphy. "If need be and we need Josh to come off the bench and help us we will," Washington said. "But the nine out there we feel pretty good about. Let's give Murphy a chance. Let's give Murphy a chance to feel a part of the team."