ANAHEIM -- Nelson Cruz was out of the Rangers' lineup on Wednesday night. Manager Ron Washington thought Cruz could use a rest, and this gave him a chance to get David Murphy in the lineup. Cruz was hitting .167 with just one home run and four RBIs in his last 10 games while Murphy started just once in the first five games after the All-Star break. "I don't think I'd ever pull Cruz out of the lineup because of performance because one swing of the bat can give us some runs," Washington said. "I just wanted to give him a rest. I feel like he needs it."
Prior to this skid, Cruz went through a 16-game stretch in which he hit .343 with eight doubles, a triple, five home runs and 18 RBIs as well as a .716 slugging percentage. "He's a streaky hitter, but there are times he is consistent," Washington said. "Right now he is experiencing a little adversity, but it will make him a better player." This was only the sixth start for Murphy since he played three in a row against the Mets on June 24-26. He is hitting .389 (7-for-18) for the month of July, but his playing time has been sporadic with the platoon of Endy Chavez and Craig Gentry working so well in center field. But Murphy insists the sporadic playing time is not bothering him. "It's been awesome," he said. "We've won 12 in a row. How could it not be awesome? I feel like I have always had a team-first mentality. I want to be on the field as much as possible, but regardless of whether I'm playing or not, we're winning games. "It's more challenging. It's not like I've never dealt with this before but is as sporadic as my playing time has been. So when you get your work in during batting practice or the games, you really have to focus. Other than that my body feels great when I get on the field."