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September 30, 2013

Nelson Cruz in Rangers' lineup for tiebreaker

The suspense, if there really was any, is over. Nelson Cruz will be in the Rangers' lineup for the Monday tiebreaker with Tampa Bay to determine second wild-card team in the American League.

The Rangers activated Cruz and designated outfielder Joey Butler for assignment to create a 40-man roster spot. Cruz was suspended 50 games Aug. 5 for using a performance-enhancing drug, and the suspension ended after the final out of the 6-2 victory Sunday.

Cruz will bat sixth and be the Rangers' designated hitter. A.J. Pierzynski is the catcher. One possible way the Rangers could have kept Cruz out of the lineup was if they had used Pierzynski at DH and Geovany Soto at catcher after going 2 for 3 with a homer and two RBIs on Sunday.

Cruz, though, has terrific numbers in his career against Rays starter David Price. Cruz is 6 for 12 with two homers in the regular season and 9 for 21 with three homers in the regular season and playoffs.

Here's the lineup:

Ian Kinsler, 2b; Elvis Andrus, ss; Alex Rios, rf; Adrian Beltre, 3b; A.J. Pierzynski, c; Nelson Cruz, dh; Mitch Moreland, 1b; Craig Gentry, lf; Leonys Martin, cf.

-- Jeff Wilson


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