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Rangers activate OF Nelson Cruz

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Texas Rangers reinstated outfielder Nelson Cruz from the 15-day disabled list in time for Monday's game against the Kansas City Royals.

Cruz went 1-for-4 in the Rangers' 3-0 victory. He doubled in his first at-bat then tested out his leg by tagging up and making it to third on a shallow fly ball to right. He scored the game's first run on Bengie Molina's single.

Cruz returns after spending 15 days on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring suffered as he ran the bases on Aug. 14 against the Boston Red Sox. Cruz has missed more than one-third of the season because of three stints on the disabled list, all because of hamstring injuries. He will be in the starting lineup, batting fifth, against the Royals.

He entered Monday's game batting .320 with 16 homers and 64 RBIs in 77 games for the Rangers and remains second on the team in stolen bases (15) and fourth in RBIs and homers.

To make room on the roster, the Rangers optioned Brandon Boggs to Triple-A Oklahoma City. They also recalled outfielder Craig Gentry and put him on the 15-day disabled list. Gentry broke his wrist a few weeks ago, but if he heals, he could be an important pinch runner late in games in September with his speed.

Cruz hit the ball well in his three rehab games in Double-A Frisco last week, going 4-for-11 with a double, walk and an RBI in a stint that included two starts in the field and one as the designated hitter. Cruz has reached base safely in 20 of his last 30 games for the Rangers entering play Monday.

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.