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Josh Hamilton stays home, rests

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Josh Hamilton was an excused absence from the World Series on Friday.

Actually, Hamilton was following orders by staying home and resting up for Game 3 on Saturday.

Rangers manager Ron Washington told his star outfielder to get as much rest as possible for the groin strain that's lately robbed him of his power. A week before, the Rangers had an optional workout before Game 6 of the ALCS and Hamilton used that as another day of at-home recovery.

Hamilton has yet to hit a home run in 48 at-bats during this postseason. Yet he was still able to muscle a fly ball deep enough in the ninth inning of Game 2 to produce a sacrifice fly that drove in the tying run.

Washington could save some of the wear and tear on Hamilton's legs by using him strictly as a designated hitter. But that's not going to happen. It's worth noting that Hamilton's range in the field has been fine. He made a terrific catch crashing into the left-field wall, saving at least a run and maybe two, plus ending a Detroit rally in Texas' cinching win in Game 6 of the ALCS.

"We've got five games (left), I'm not sitting him," Washington said.

The only adjustment Washington will make is putting Hamilton in left field when facing a left-handed starter because speedster Craig Gentry, a right-handed hitter, can handle center field. But when they face a righty and lefty David Murphy is in the lineup, Washington will put Murphy in left and Hamilton in center.

"I'm not changing anything," he said.