Cruz, Young switch spots in lineup

Cruz, Young switch spots in lineup

Cruz, Young switch spots in lineup
ARLINGTON -- When Ron Washington wrote a lineup for Saturday's game against the Twins, he initially left Josh Hamilton off, not knowing if he had recovered enough from back spasms that forced him to leave Friday's game.

In that first lineup, Michael Young moved from fifth to third in the order and Nelson Cruz moved from sixth to fifth. But when Washington found out that Hamilton would be available, he moved Young to the sixth spot in the lineup and left Cruz to bat fifth. Upon realizing that Cruz, who normally bats sixth, and Young, who normally bats fifth, had essentially switched places in the order, Washington left his lineup alone.

"I don't know. It just happened," Washington said. "When I made the lineup after I figured out Hamilton could play, Cruz came off my pen after Beltre. So I just left it like that to see if it works."

Entering Saturday's tilt, the Rangers had been outscored, 34-9, during a five-game losing streak and had scored only run in each of their last two games. Young, who went 0-for-4 on Saturday, is batting .200 in his last 25 games and went 13 at-bats without a hit before a two-run double Wednesday. After going 1-for-14 over a four-game stretch, Cruz is hitting .364 in his past nine games. Cruz delivered two RBI doubles, including the game-winner in the 10th inning, on Saturday in a 3-for-5 showing.

"It would provide a spark when you have people in the lineup hitting," Washington said of the lineup change. "The spark won't be provided when they're not hitting. All you're doing is taking people that aren't hitting and putting them at the top of the order and taking people that aren't hitting and putting them at the bottom of the order. So what's going to change?"

One change Washington did make that he believes could provide a spark is putting right-handed hitter Craig Gentry in the lineup against right-handed Twins starter Samuel Deduno. Gentry, who went 2-for-4 on Friday, was hitting .426 in his previous 25 games and his .348 batting average was the highest in the American League among players with at least 125 at-bats. He normally only starts against left-handed starters but is hitting .333 against righties this season.

"He's hot," Washington said. "We need somebody in that lineup that can get on the bag. Hopefully, he can continue to swing the bat the way he's been swinging it."