BALTIMORE -- Both Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz were out of the Rangers' lineup for Monday's game against the Orioles. Hamilton was scratched from the lineup after batting practice because of more tightness in his bruised left ribcage. Hamilton came to the ballpark for early batting practice and said the ribcage felt fine. But he took two more rounds of hitting during regular batting practice and said he couldn't get loose. Hamilton also didn't start on Sunday, but did pinch-hit in the eighth inning and struck out. Manager Ron Washington was concerned that if Hamilton started on Monday and had more trouble with the ribcage then he would have to come out of the game. Hamilton was told that if he couldn't guarantee nine innings then the Rangers would rather have him coming off the bench.
Hamilton originally injured the ribcage running into a wall on Tuesday at Rogers Centre in Toronto. This is the third time in six games that Hamilton has been out of the lineup. Cruz was given his first day off this season. He was 2-for-12 in his previous three games and Washington felt it was time to give him a break. "For the last couple of days I thought he looked a little fatigued," Washington said. "We'll let him catch his breath and get him back in there tomorrow. I think it's physical fatigue and sometimes physical leads to mental." Andruw Jones replaced Hamilton in the lineup and made his second start in left field. Second baseman Ian Kinsler and Michael Young are the only two Rangers who have started every game.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.