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July 23, 2013

Rangers notes: Matt Garza, Alexi Ogando, Nelson Cruz

Matt Garza arrived at Rangers Ballpark earlier today, and is excited to join a contending team. Garza is scheduled to start Wednesday and doesn't talk the day before his starts, but his new teammates spoke for him.

"Matt wants to play in October, and he made that very clear when I talked to him today," said Jeff Baker, a former Cubs teammate. "He's fired up to be here."

The Rangers acquired the 29-year-old right-hander on Monday night, sending a package of Mike Olt, Justin Grimm, C.J. Edwards and player(s) to be named later back to the Cubs.

Garza was considered the top starter on the trade market. He went 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA over his last four starts before joining the Rangers.

Garza was added to the active roster earlier today, along with tonight's starter Alexi Ogando. The team optioned relievers Joseph Ortiz and Cory Burns back to Triple A Round Rock to make room for Garza and Ogando.

Here are a few other pregame notes:

* Nelson Cruz's status remains a question mark the day after Ryan Braun was suspended by Major League Baseball for the remainder of the season. Cruz is one of several big leaguers who reportedly received banned substances from Biogenesis, a defunct anti-aging clinic in the South Florida area. Cruz spoke briefly with reporters after Monday's game, and continued to say little about the investigation.

Manager Ron Washington has been impressed with how Cruz has dealt with the allegations that came out in late January, and have dragged into the season.

"I don’t know what he’s going through because I’ve never been in that situation, but I think he’s handled it admirably," Washington said. "I think he’s been a pro and he has been able to separate what he does on his job, which is come to the ballpark and play baseball, and how he handles it when he’s out of here. He’s done a good job of separating it.

"We support Nelson but we can’t do anything about his circumstance but we support him. Until Major League Baseball decides what they want to do, I don’t think about it. I put his name in my lineup and until I get the word I can’t put him in there, I’m putting him in there."

* Colby Lewis said he felt better after his second medical rehabilitation assignment on Monday than he did in his first one. Lewis allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts over three innings and 56 pitches.

"Just grinding out there, getting out there tyring to get innings in and get my pitch count up." Lewis said. "I'm going out there and making sure it’s better each time, I don’t want to take any steps back."

Lewis could make another rehab start Saturday or Sunday for Frisco, which is on the road at San Antonio, or Round Rock, which is home.

* Joe Nathan saved his 31st game on Monday, and career No. 329, tying him for 12th all-time. He is one away from tying former Ranger and Yankee John Wetteland.

-- Drew Davison


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