DETROIT -- Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler asked for a day off, and manager Ron Washington decided outfielder Milton Bradley needed one.
Bradley leads the Rangers in hitting, Kinsler leads in runs scored and Washington is reluctant to sit his best players while the team is struggling. But he felt he had no choice with those two as both were out of the lineup for Thursday's game against the Tigers at Comerica Park.
This is only the second time Kinsler has not been in the starting lineup. He did not start on April 16 against the Blue Jays, but pinch-hit for Ramon Vazquez in the sixth inning and ended up playing nine innings in the Rangers' 14-inning victory.
"I'm hurting," Kinsler said. "My [hamstring muscles] have been a little tired. Yesterday, I went from first to third on a single in the first inning and scored on a wild pitch. ... I've been moving left and right on defense. My legs could use a break."
Kinsler went into Thursday's game having reached safely in 22 straight games. That's the fifth such streak to start the season in club history. Toby Harrah set the record by reaching base in 41 straight games at the start of the 1985 season. Will Clark started the 1996 season by reaching base in 36 straight games.
Bradley, who is hitting .329, has been playing with sore hamstrings and Washington ended up giving him the day off. The original plan was to have him in the lineup.
"His hamstrings have been sore for the last week or so," Washington said. "But as a designated hitter, he can manage it. His [right] knee is fine. There is no problem with his knee. But this could be a part of that. I don't want him pushing it."
Adam Melhuse, as planned, was behind the plate to give catcher Gerald Laird the day off.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.