Hamilton gets day off for series finale

Hamilton gets day off for series finale

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was out of the lineup on Sunday, one day after going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in a 14-5 loss to the Mets.

Hamilton is now hitting .113 (6-for-52) with no home runs, four RBIs and 21 strikeouts in day games this season. But manager Ron Washington said that's not why Hamilton was out of the lineup Sunday.

"He looks tired. ... He just looks physically tired to me," Washington said.

Hamilton said he and Washington talked about taking Sunday off a few days ago. The Rangers are off on Monday before opening a three-game series against the Astros on Tuesday in Houston.

"I could use a day off, and piggyback it with the actual day off," Hamilton said. "It will be good for me."

The upcoming schedule appears good for Hamilton as well. Beginning Tuesday, the Rangers play 12 straight night games before a Sunday afternoon day game on July 10 against the Athletics. That's the Rangers' last game before the All-Star break.

The Rangers also open the second half by playing 12 of 14 games at night. But the Rangers aren't planning to protect Hamilton the rest of the way by playing him only at night.

"He's not going to get all day games off," Washington said. "I don't know what he sees or what he doesn't see. But if you play in a game, you may not get a hit, but you can do other things. You can play defense. You can walk and run the bases, break up a double play."

Hamilton is hitting .377 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs in 26 night games. He tried using contacts on Saturday, but that didn't work. The biggest concern is that he may be talking his way into a day-game slump.

"I'll figure it out, just like I always do," Hamilton said.

Hamilton went into Sunday's game with 22 RBIs for the month of June, third most in the Major Leagues.