"I've been running Vlad out there regularly. I figured it was time for him to have a day," manager Ron Washington said. "He's available if I need him in certain situations."
Cruz had to leave both Tuesday and Wednesday's games because of a sore right hamstring, but Texas felt he was healthy enough to be the DH.
Washington also decided to use Andres Blanco at second base and Taylor Teagarden at catcher on Thursday, even though they are a combined 0-for-27 on the season. They replace Matt Treanor and Joaquin Arias, who are a combined 20-for-63. That's a .317 average.
"I don't see them as automatic outs," Washington said. "Teagarden is struggling, but Blanco gives you a good at-bat. I don't see them as automatic outs. When I put them in the lineup, I'm confident they are going to get something done."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.