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September 04, 2012

Tuesday's pregame Rangers notes

The Rangers say that the ninth-inning hit-by-pitch incident between Nelson Cruz, Louis Coleman and Brayan Pena ended Sunday with the 27th out.

Manager Ron Washington had this to say about the incident, in which Cruz believed he was plunked intentionally as payback for watching a 420-foot homer in the sixth inning: "I don't know why they hit him. I don't know what went into that. ... We don't go out there and play the game to embarrass anyone. We just have fun. We answered that: Two-run bomb."

Michael Young hit the next pitch after Cruz was hit and the benches and bullpen cleared for a two-run homer that provided the final score of 8-4.

Mike Napoli did some more running today, wearing cleats for the first time as he ran to first base in yet another test of his strained right quadriceps muscle.

The catcher called Tuesday "a good day" and said that he ran pain-free. He wasn't going to challenge Usain Bolt with his pace, but Napoli is pacing himself after being idle for nearly a month. He will run again, perhaps rounding first base, if he feels good enough Wednesday.

Washington called this Rangers' season the toughest of the last three because of the offensive funk that hit in July and because of the injuries that have riddled the pitching staff. Said Washington: "If everyone played to their potential this year, we'd just be waiting for the season to end. But every year is different, and we have to battle for it."

Robbie Ross said that he will start a throwing program Thursday in his recover from a left forearm strain. Ross said that he didn't need to go on the disabled list, but the 15-day stint is allowing him to recover physically and mentally for what could be a run into the playoffs.

-- Jeff Wilson

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