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Thursday, June 30, 2011
David Murphy is back in the lineup

By Calvin Watkins

HOUSTON -- With Elvis Andrus returning to the Rangers' lineup tonight and batting second behind Ian Kinsler, manager Ron Washington made another change: He sat Nelson Cruz for David Murphy.

Murphy, playing right field, is batting sixth. Craig Gentry moves to center field and bats eighth.

"No particular reason, just felt like he needed a day," Washington said regarding his reasons for giving Cruz the night off. "It gives Murphy a chance. Hopefully against this lefty, he will lock him in."

The lefty Murphy is facing is Houston's Wandy Rodriguez (5-4, 3.21 ERA). On the season, Murphy is hitting .169 against left-handed pitching with 11 strikeouts in 59 at-bats.

Overall, Murphy is struggling. He came in as a defensive replacement in Wednesday night's victory, but he has just one hit in his last 15 at-bats.

While Washington didn't give out specific reasons for sitting Cruz, the slugger is just 4-for-21 in the last five games. Cruz went 0-for-4 on Wednesday night.