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08/11/10 8:30 PM ET

Rangers tab Harden for Tuesday start

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, with the off-days they've had this week, are pushing Rich Harden back to Tuesday against the Rays. C.J. Wilson will start on Sunday against the Red Sox and Cliff Lee will start on Monday against the Rays.

If the Rangers had stayed in rotation, Harden's turn would have fallen on Saturday against the Red Sox. But manager Ron Washington said Harden will definitely start on Tuesday.

"With the off-days, we didn't need that fifth spot," Washington said. "But in the next few weeks [with no days off], we'll be in a five-man rotation."

Harden has made two starts since coming off the disabled list. He allowed one run in seven innings in a 2-1 victory over the Angels on July 31 and he allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings in a 6-2 loss to the Athletics last Saturday.

"Hey, you know what, with the days off we've had and my last start, I understand," Harden said. "They need a little more consistency and I could use the extra day to throw a couple extra bullpens. I don't like ever being pushed back and missing start dates but I understand the decision at the same time."

As hot hand, Murphy relishing playing time

ARLINGTON -- While Rangers outfielder David Murphy has seen the majority of playing time in the outfield over Julio Borbon the last few weeks, manager Ron Washington isn't ready to deem him the everyday starter just yet.

"Playing time Murphy gets, Murphy deserves it," Washington said. "Murphy's earned that playing time. I think I told you guys after the All-Star break, you're going to see more of Murphy."

Murphy says he's just enjoying knowing that when he's come into the clubhouse, his name is likely to be on the lineup card.

"That's a great feeling," Murphy said. "At the same time, this team is so talented up and down that whatever names are on that lineup card, we've got a great chance to win every single night."

His performance hasn't gone unnoticed by his teammates, either. In his last six games, he's hit .435 (10-for-23) with three home runs and nine RBIs.

"Everyone knows that he can hit. There's no doubt that he can hit," Elvis Andrus said. "He can hit for power, everywhere on the field. He's a great hitter. He did that last year for us. He's an opportunity guy.

"He'll go out there and step up. I think the last two weeks, he's been an angel for us. He's been the savior. He's going out and hitting home runs."

And while he may be the hot hand now, Murphy knows Borbon is just as capable of providing the Rangers' offense with a spark when he's in the lineup.

"Julio has had his moments this year where he's shined and done a great job," Murphy said. "He's a great player and he's going to get his opportunities to play. You've got to have depth and be a complete team to get to the postseason and have a chance to play in the postseason."

Guzman hopes to get hot, puts in extra time

ARLINGTON -- Cristian Guzman is a two-time All-Star who was hoping to have a significant impact on the Rangers' playoff chances.

He hasn't. Guzman has just three singles in his past 29 at-bats going into Wednesday's game against the Yankees. That's why he was out for early batting practice with hitting coach Clint Hurdle, even though the temperature was around 98-100 degrees.

It has been a struggle for him since he was acquired from the Washington Nationals for two Minor League pitchers.

"So far, yes," Guzman said. "Everybody can see that. We went out today for early BP and the hitting coach said I'm took quick at the plate. I'm not reading the ball, I'm jumping at it. I'm trying to put it together. Everybody has tough times, that's what's happening to me."

Guzman was still in the lineup on Wednesday night for the ninth time in 10 games since being acquired from the Nationals. But the Rangers also pinch-hit Mitch Moreland for him in the ninth inning of Tuesday's game.

"I want to put my little bit in there, too," Guzman said. "Everybody else is getting hits -- I'm trying to put it together like everybody else."

Washington has faith in slumping Vlad

ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said he's not concerned with Vladimir Guerrero's recent slump.

Guerrero went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts Tuesday against the Yankees and has just one multihit game in his last 19 starts, which came Aug. 5 against the Mariners. He's also hitless in his last seven at-bats.

"If you've ever played this game for any period of time, you go through periods [where you slump]," Washington said. "As bad as he's been the past month, he can be just as good tonight and forward. I think the past couple of days, some hits that he may have had have been taken away from him.

"That's when you know things are about to fall back into place. That ball Alex Rodriguez made a play on, that's a knock. This guy has a lot of knowledge. He has pride. I believe in him. He makes our lineup different when he's in there. He's a horse. I'm going to saddle him up and ride him."

Worth noting

Joaquin Arias (strained lower back) has been sent to Double-A Frisco on a medical rehabilitation assignment. Rehab assignments can last up to 20 days, so Arias will likely be down there until Sept. 1. ... Matt Treanor (sprained right knee) will likely begin a rehab assignment on Monday. But the Rangers will take their time with him. He'll start out catching every other game and probably will begin with a four-inning stint. The Rangers want him to build up endurance and strength to the point where he can catch back-to-back nine inning games. ... Ian Kinsler (strained groin muscle) admitted that he will not be ready on Friday when he is eligible to come off the disabled list. Said Kinsler, "I expected to be back in 15 days, but it's not going to happen. It's getting better, but it's the same process it's been. We've got to wait. I can do lower body stuff but I can't swing. We have to wait for it to heal." ... Kinsler could play if he had to and at some point he may just do that. Said Kinsler, "If it never gets better, but we expect it to get better. Sept. 1 is probably a pretty good date, but honestly I'd like to be back before that. That seems a long ways away." ... Tuesday's game was the highest rated Rangers game ever on FOX Sports Southwest. ... Darren O'Day has not been scored upon in 27 straight appearances. That's a new club record. ... The Rangers are 8-5 in extra innings games this year. ... Neftali Feliz threw two innings on Tuesday night, but manager Ron Washington said he is available as the closer on Wednesday. ... Former President George Bush and wife Laura attended Wednesday's game. He received a standing ovation when introduced in the middle of the second inning.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.