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Cruz likely for weekend return to lineup

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said Nelson Cruz’ return to the starting lineup will likely be Saturday or Sunday in Seattle.

Cruz is not in the lineup for tonight’s 7:05 p.m. series finale against Cleveland at Rangers Ballpark when Texas goes for the series sweep and its fourth straight win.

“Hopefully this weekend we’ll see him out there,’’ Washington said in his pregame press conference. “It was our plan all along to give him three or four or five days after we activated him Tuesday.’’

After receiving a nice ovation from a crowd of 38,710, Cruz struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning of Wednesday night’s 9-1 win over the Indians.

It was his first appearance since going on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 29 with a left hamstring strain.

Cruz is batting .270 with 28 home runs and 84 RBIs.

The return of more power to the Rangers brings a smile to Washington’s face.

“We should be more exciting,’’ Washington said. "But I'm more excited about the way we're playing defense and pitching.''