Hamilton taking 'maintenance day'

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton and manager Ron Washington chatted before Wednesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and decided it would be a good time for the hottest player in baseball to take a day off.

Hamilton is in the middle of a career-high 17-game hitting streak and is batting .485 with six doubles, eight homers and 24 RBIs in that stretch. In June, Hamilton is hitting .476 (39-for-82) with eight homers, seven doubles and 26 RBIs in 20 games.

Hamilton said it was a good "maintenance day" as he walked into the batting cages with hitting coach Clint Hurdle close behind. Washington said Hamilton is healthy and that this is simply a way to get him off his feet and out of the heat for one day.

"I've been getting just about everybody else days off. It was his turn," Washington said. "He's human. He needs a day off. It gets [David] Murphy into the game and gives him a chance to get involved too."

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.