"It was just as simple as it was to give the rest of them a day off," said manager Ron Washington. "Just had to pick a day."
Hamilton, who extended his hit streak to an American League-best 16 games during Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Athletics, was out of the starting lineup Thursday. David Murphy filled in for Hamilton in left field and batted fifth. Hamilton leads the AL with a .399 batting average, 18 home runs and 45 RBIs.
His 16-game hit streak, the longest in his career since a 23-game stretch in June 2010, came to an end during Thursday's 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Athletics. Hamilton entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Craig Gentry in the eighth inning and went 0-for-2.
"It allows you to be stress-free for a few innings," Hamilton said. "Not really having to think about the game, but just out there supporting your teammates and encouraging them. If we have a day off, about the sixth inning, I'm still getting ready. In about the sixth inning, I went to the cage, and I was ready to go."
Michael Young was hitting third in the Rangers' lineup, where Hamilton normally bats, as the designated hitter.
"We have a lot of established guys in our lineup," Young said. "Josh is on an incredible tear, but we really have a talented team with a bunch of established hitters so that's not really an issue right now."