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Rios Excels in 3-Hole

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 10: Alex Rios #51 of the Texas Rangers before a baseball game against the Houston Astros on August 10, 2013 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Eric Christian Smith/Getty Images)

    Back when Lance Berkman was struggling and the Texas Rangers couldn't get anything going in the heart of their lineup, thanks to a big bag of nothing in the No. 3 spot, the Rangers stuck a red-hot Nelson Cruz there, even though he wasn't a prototypical 3-hitter.

    The results were great and helped rejuvenate the Rangers' struggling lineup.

    When Cruz was popped with a 50-game suspension for PEDs at the beginning of August, the Rangers were in a similar predicament and Ian Kinsler couldn't pick up the slack.

    On Sunday, Ron Washington rolled the dice again with a guy that might not be the prototype No. 3 hitter but was hot, nonetheless, and it paid off as newly acquired Alex Rios went 2-for-4 with a homer and a late RBI double to help the Rangers salvage a win and avoid a sweep, and most importantly keep pace with Oakland, which had beaten Houston.

    So while Rios might not be the Rangers' No. 3 hitter next season, it certainly can't hurt to put him there now with a few weeks remaining in the regular season and with the Rangers needing all the offensive help they can get.