ARLINGTON -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus and outfielder Josh Hamilton both received the day off in the club's final game before the All-Star break. Manager Ron Washington said he reached the decision with Hamilton days ago, but recently decided on Andrus. The two will play in the All-Star Game in Anaheim on Wednesday. "Hamilton, we discussed this when we came off the last road trip," Washington said.
Washington blamed Andrus' baserunning errors in a 6-1 loss to the Orioles on Saturday for part of the problem. Andrus was caught in a rundown twice in the series-clinching win for the O's."Elvis, the guy is fatigued. You can tell," Washington said. "When Elvis is fatigued, you see things like what happened yesterday on the basepaths. He isn't going anywhere, gets picked off. Ball gets past the pitcher, squibbles off the bat, takes off to third. That's when you know Elvis is fatigued." Washington can also tell in Andrus' performance at the plate. He's hitting just .188 (6-for-32) with an RBI on this homestand. "You watch his bat head the past couple of days. It's been mighty slow," Washington said. "He's been fighting. I want him to get as much time off between now and Thursday as I possibly can. I'll give him a day. Of course, he'll have to deal with that hoopla tomorrow and then the All-Star Game and then fly Wednesday. He needs it." As a result, center fielder Julio Borbon hit in the leadoff spot in place of Andrus while David Murphy took over in left field while batting fifth in the lineup. Andres Blanco played shortstop, batting ninth. But Borbon, who is batting just .178 with five RBIs in the leadoff spot compared to .303 with 16 RBIs in the nine-hole, said his approach won't change. "It's the same approach. I've been able to find that out as I've been going on throughout the first half," Borbon said. "Earlier, it was a little hard to adjust because I'd been so used to hitting early. But once the team gets going, you forget about that and you just pay attention to the game. It actually gives you a little bit of a chance to pay attention to what the hitter's doing when you're batting ninth."