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Cruz Taking Flight in Third Spot

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Cruz Taking Flight in Third Spot

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David Murphy #7, Nelson Cruz #17and Leonys Martin #2 of the Texas Rangers watch the video board of Cruz's grand slam home run in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners.

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Nelson Cruz has gone on a lot of hot and cold streaks over the course of his career with the Texas Rangers, and he's definitely on one of the former right now.

Cruz has been a huge part of the Rangers' lineup since moving into the 3-hole in the lineup last week against Oakland — a four-game series the Rangers won — and continued his hot hitting over the weekend in his personal house of horrors, Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Cruz went 5-for-14 with five RBIs as the No. 3 hitter in St. Louis, including a big home run on Saturday night against rookie phenom Shelby Miller. He's now made his last five starts hitting third in the lineup and is 8-for-22 with a homer and seven RBIs, and looks to be staying there for at least the short-term future as Lance Berkman is trying to get healthy and get out of his slump that has gone for nearly two months.

"It’s a consideration,” Washington told reporters about the possibility of leaving Cruz in the No. 3 spot long-term. “There is no definite plan. I’ve always thought of Cruz protecting [Adrian] Beltre. I’ve just got to get used to the idea of Beltre protecting Cruz.”

Batting Cruz third does present one problem though, which is making the team's lineup pretty unbalanced with Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Cruz and Beltre making the first four hitters right-handed.

Cruz is inevitably going to get cold again, because that's just what he does, and when that happens Cruz might drop back to sixth in the lineup, where he's gotten his most career at-bats, but while he's hot it certainly doesn't hurt to leave him at the top of the lineup.

Related Topics Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers
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