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Andrus gets surprising day off

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ARLINGTON -- Elvis Andrus was surprised when he came to the park on Wednesday and found out he was not in the starting lineup. But manager Ron Washington saw something on Tuesday night when Andrus went 0-for-5 against the Orioles and decided his shortstop needed a night off.

"He just looked a little sluggish so I wanted to let him catch up," Washington said. "He'll be back out there tomorrow."

Andrus had his first day off of the season last Thursday in Minnesota and the Rangers were off on Monday. But that didn't matter to Washington, who used Luis Sardinas at shortstop.

"I go by my eyes and by my gut … what I am seeing," Washington said. "I just felt like he needed a day off."

Andrus went into Tuesday night's game with four hits in his last 23 at-bats and is hitting .227 in his last 39 games. Overall he is hitting .251 with 32 runs scored, 13 stolen bases and a .307 on-base percentage. He has a career .272 batting average and a .337 on-base percentage.

"It's not the best year but we have a long ways to go," Andrus said. "I feel good and I feel healthy. I believe in myself and my skills and I will still have a great season. I will just keep playing hard and trying hard."

Washington also gave Adrian Beltre his first start at designated hitter since April 8 in Boston. Donnie Murphy made his first start at third base for this season. But he has played 109 games in his career at third prior to Wednesday, his most at any position as a Major League utility player.

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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