"I felt it was time he got one," said Washington, who had Mike Olt in the lineup at first base.
Washington said he was giving Young a physical and mental break and that the decision was not related to performance. Young started August strong but had sustained an 0-for-12 stretch before hitting an eighth-inning single on Tuesday night.
Young is hitting .269 with three home runs and 45 RBIs. He entered the game with a .300 on-base percentage and .343 slugging percentage -- figures that would easily be career lows if the season ended on Wednesday. He hasn't hit a home run since May 7 against the Orioles.
Washington said there are no plans to reduce Young's playing time down the stretch.
"It's not Michael Young-like, but he brings more to the table than just what the numbers say," Washington said. "There's no one who is more upset about what's going on than Michael Young. But I believe in him, and I feel it will happen."
Actually, Young continues not to express too much concern about his offensive performance and remains confident in his ability to hit. He said he did not feel that he needed a day off.
"I feel great," Young said. "I'm looking forward to the next 2 1/2 months."
As far as his hitting, Young said, "Stay the course, make good adjustments and continue to do what I usually do the rest of the season -- make good, consistent hard contact."
Washington said Young is simply having a down season on a team that still entered Wednesday night's game with a six-game lead over the second-place Athletics in the American League West.
"That's how I look at it," Washington said. "You can't play this game for a long time and not have a year where things don't go well. Babe Ruth had down years, Mickey Mantle had down years; everybody has down years."