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Berkman back in lineup after two-game hiatus

Berkman back in lineup after two-game hiatus

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Berkman back in lineup after two-game hiatus

ARLINGTON -- Lance Berkman was back in the lineup on Tuesday after getting two days off. But he was batting fifth in the order after batting exclusively in the third spot. A.J. Pierzynski, who was hitting .382 in his last 19 games going into Tuesday, was moved up to the No. 3 spot. Berkman was hitting .192 in his last 19 games.

"I just decided to give Berkman less stress, so I moved Pierzynski to No. 3," manager Ron Washington said.

Berkman started at first base, as Washington used Nelson Cruz at designated hitter for only the second time this season. Craig Gentry started in center field with a right-hander on the mound and Leonys Martin was in right field.

Gentry went into the game with four hits in his last 33 at-bats, dropping his season average to .219. That's not what the Rangers were expecting after he was one of their more impressive players in Spring Training. Gentry earned a spot on the roster by hitting .351 with a .614 slugging percentage in Arizona, but he has struggled in his center-field platoon arrangement with Martin.

"Coming out of Spring Training, I felt great," Gentry said. "I'm just not having the success I thought I could have here. Not getting real consistent at-bats. It's tough to come out of it, but that's my job. I've got to overcome it."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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