Kinsler takes day off to regroup

Kinsler takes day off to regroup

HOUSTON -- Ian Kinsler was 0-for-5 on Friday night, snapping his 15-game hitting streak against the Astros. It's the first time in his career that he was unable to get a hit in a game against them.

That's just one more sign that Kinsler needed a day off. Manager Ron Washington did just that on Saturday, taking Kinsler out of the lineup for the first time this season. Omar Vizquel started instead.

Kinsler is expected back in the lineup when the Rangers and Astros finish their series on Sunday at Minute Maid Park.

"I can see some mental fatigue, so I decided to give him a day off," Washington said. "He's moving slow, you can see some fatigue in his at-bats."

Kinsler has just four hits in his last 33 at-bats and is hitting .212 with a .286 on-base percentage and a .398 slugging percentage in his last 28 games.

"If the manager feels I need a day off, I'm not going to question it," Kinsler said. "I'm fine. ... I'm just trying to battle through it. As long as we're winning games, I'm fine with it. If we start losing games, that adds stress.

"You can call it what you want -- over-eager is fine -- but I feel I'm playing the game the same way all year. The results aren't just there right now."

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Brandon McCarthy (3-2, 5.60 ERA)
McCarthy went seven innings and allowed four runs for his second consecutive start. He surrendered single runs in each of the first three innings on a night when the high-octane Texas offense only managed one hit. The righty gave up just two hits in his final four innings. McCarthy has appeared three times against the Astros, making one start. He allowed two earned runs in those three outings. Catcher Ivan Rodriguez has gone 6-for-10 lifetime against him with two doubles and two RBIs.

HOU: LHP Mike Hampton (2-3, 5.23 ERA)
Hampton had to leave his last start against the Brewers early with a small cut on his left thumb. Hampton received a no-decision after allowing two runs on three hits while walking three and striking out four before coming out after the fourth inning. Hampton will return to the mound at Minute Maid Park to face the Rangers still in search of his first win at home this season. Hampton is 0-1 with a 9.53 ERA in two career starts against the Rangers.

Tidbits
Pitcher Michael Kirkman has been promoted from Class A Bakersfield to Double-A Frisco. ... Washington said there is a possibility that Andruw Jones could start at first base again, but added that he still considers Hank Blalock his No. 2 at the position behind Chris Davis. ... There are 2,000 tickets left for Monday's game against the Yankees.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• My27

On radio
• 105.3 The Fan, KFLC 1270 (Español)

Up next
• Monday: Rangers (Matt Harrison, 4-3, 4.71) vs. Yankees (Phil Hughes, 2-2, 7.06), 1:05 p.m. CT
• Tuesday: Rangers (Kevin Millwood, 4-4, 3.12) vs. Yankees (Joba Chamberlain, 2-1, 3.70), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Rangers (Derek Holland, 1-1, 4.82) vs. Yankees (A.J. Burnett, 2-2, 5.28), 7:05 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.