Rangers can't rest

Rangers can't rest

DETROIT -- The Rangers have the notorious day game after a night game when they play the Tigers on Thursday at Comerica Park. Catcher Gerald Laird will get the day off. Milton Bradley probably won't.

Normally this would be a situation where Bradley gets a day of rest for his right knee. But manager Ron Washington said it's tough to give players time off right now while the Rangers are struggling.

"I've got to try and keep the best players I can out there," Washington said. "I can't sit Milton right now."

The Rangers' tough start has also made Washington rethink his plan of using Josh Hamilton in right field on occasion to give his legs a rest. Having Marlon Byrd on the disabled list also hasn't helped.

Hamilton played right field in the first game of the road trip, but has started the last seven games in center. He'll likely stay there for now, at least until Byrd gets back.

"Right now he's saying he wants to play center," Washington said.

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Jason Jennings (0-3, 7.08)
The Rangers wanted to give Jennings two days of extra rest but decided they couldn't do that because of their overworked bullpen. So Jennings pitches Thursday on his normal four days rest. Scott Feldman was recalled from Double-A Frisco but will be in the bullpen. The Rangers were going to start him on Thursday but were concerned about not having a long reliever behind him. So Feldman will be in long relief behind Jennings.

DET: RHP Jeremy Bonderman (1-2, 4.37 ERA)
Bonderman struggled with his control during his last outing against the Blue Jays. He issued six walks and required 108 pitches to get through five innings of work. He still has a 3.86 ERA in his last three starts. Left-handers are hitting .359 off him while right-handers are batting .235. Bonderman is 2-1 with a 4.83 ERA in five career starts against the Rangers.

The Rangers pitching staff's ERA has gone up from 3.80 to 5.40 during the six-game losing streak. ... Bradley is hitting .385 (20-for-52) in his last 15 games and Michael Young has an eight-game hitting streak. ... Young has come out of the game in each of the past two nights before it was over because the Rangers were so far behind and Washington wanted to give him a breather.

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On the Internet
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•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

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Up next
• Friday: Rangers (Kevin Millwood, 1-2, 2.53) vs. Twins (Nick Blackburn, 1-1, 2.49), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Rangers (TBA) vs. Twins (Scott Baker, 2-0, 3.51), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Sunday: Rangers (Vicente Padilla, 2-2, 4.97) vs. Twins (Livan Hernandez, 2-0, 1.67), 1:05 p.m. CT

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.