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“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.


ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONED: Albert Pujols wasn’t available to reporters after Game 2 to discuss his ninth-inning fielding error that helped turn a 1-0 St. Louis lead into a 2-1 loss.

On Friday, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said the only reason Pujols and other key players left before reporters were allowed into the clubhouse was because “it was 40 minutes before anybody let anybody know that they wanted to talk to those guys.”

“If anybody had said, `We need to talk to Albert,’ he would have stayed,” La Russa said.

La Russa added that players were in a hurry because it was a night game followed by a flight to Texas.

“They wanted to pack for their families,” he said.

Stories have been written criticizing the players and the organization for lacking accountability. La Russa didn’t like that because he said the club has a history of being very accessible for reporters.

“We’re willing to live up to it, but somebody has got to be fair with us,” he said. “I heard the criticism, and it offends me because I know our attitude as an organization is 180 degrees different from the way it’s being portrayed. Nobody asked for those guys, and they got out of there. They had other things to do.”

Rangers star Michael Young is almost always available after games because he considers it part of his job. He joked that if he didn’t show up to his locker while reporters were waiting, “you guys would follow me home.”

“I do think it is a responsibility,” Young said. “You guys have a job to do, too. I’m just trying to be respectful, that’s all.”

Young is the team’s longest-tenured player and the franchise hits leader, which also makes his voice more important on any subject. The absence of Pujols and others left younger players to discuss the loss.

“Veteran players who’ve been around a while, and guys who have certain roles on their teams, it’s a good thing to take pressure off your teammates on the field and off,” Young said.

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