BOSTON -- Josh Hamilton was back in the Rangers' lineup on Friday, one night after leaving Thursday's game with tightness in a muscle behind his right knee.
Hamilton was even in center field. Julio Borbon was given the night off, with David Murphy starting in left field. Rangers manager Ron Washington said Hamilton is ready to go.
"He's great ... well, not great, but he's fine," Washington said. "We've got a different Hamilton now. He's learning how to play hurt. Not injured, but he has a different mindset. He knows how to deal with those aches and pains. His mindset is he wants to play."
Hamilton will need that mindset. Washington worked hard to give his regulars some time off before the All-Star break. He's not looking to do that anymore.
"We're going to saddle up those thoroughbreds and ride them to the end," Washington said.
Murphy is part of that stable; that's why Washington still wants to get him some playing time. Right now, Murphy is back to starting against left-handers, and the Red Sox started rookie southpaw Felix Doubront on Friday night. Washington said he wants to give Borbon time off against tough left-handers.
"This one throws with good velocity," Washington said of Doubront. "I just think Murph will handle him better."
Borbon has also hit a little dip. He is 1-for-13 in his last four games, and is hitting .180 in his last 15 games. Prior to that, he was hitting .306 over 69 games, a stretch that began when he was moved to ninth in the lineup.
"I got out of that big hole early so ... I'm in a good spot," Borbon said. "I've just got to continue to grind and finish strong. We have plenty of games left."