"I knew he had been struggling, but I didn't look at any numbers," Washington said. "I just felt like it was time to give him a break."
Cruz is also hitting .206 with two home runs, six RBIs and a .338 slugging percentage in his last 18 games. David Murphy started in right field for the sixth time this season.
"You're going to be up and down, that's the way it is," Cruz said. "There's nothing new, just keep working."
Washington described Cruz's season at the plate as being inconsistent, and Cruz agreed.
"With all the numbers he's put up, they could certainly be better," Washington said.
Cruz, while emphasizing that he does not ask for days off, seemed at peace with the idea of not being in the lineup on Wednesday.
"We play a few games in a row," Cruz said. "It's part of it. It's a long season, so you get to these points where you feel like you need a chance to recover and prepare for the end of the season."