DETROIT -- Josh Hamilton started for the second straight game in center field on Wednesday. David Murphy was in left field again with right-hander Doug Fister on the mound for the Tigers. Endy Chavez normally plays center field with a right-hander on the mound, but Washington wanted to give him a couple of days off after playing in the heat of Texas and the hard artificial surface in Toronto over the weekend. Washington said Chavez will be in center on Thursday in the final game in Detroit. "I want to give Chavez a chance to catch up and catch his breath," Washington said. "When I put Chavez back out there, Hamilton will be in left."
Chavez has just six singles in his past 33 at-bats. He is still hitting .311 on the season. Murphy entered Wednesday's bout hitting .257 but is hoping to get going on another strong second half. He was hitting .385 (15-for-39) in his previous 13 games. Murphy is a career .268 hitter with a .418 slugging percentage before the All-Star break, as opposed to .293 with a .482 slugging percentage after the break. "I feel good right now," Murphy said. "I feel like the last month or so, I've felt like myself again. I feel like I'm making more consistent and solid contact. Everybody makes a big deal how I am a better hitter in the second half than the first half -- hopefully that's true. But I can't look past today. I want to focus on quality at-bats tonight and keep it going."