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09/11/12 10:20 PM ET

Stuck in slump, Cruz not in starting lineup

ARLINGTON -- Nelson Cruz was out of the Rangers' lineup on Tuesday night because manager Ron Washington wanted to use Monday's open date to give him two days off.

Cruz went into Tuesday's game with just two hits in his last 23 at-bats and is hitting .175 in his last 17 games. He has played in 138 games, a career high for him at the Major League level. Cruz is also 0-for-9 with seven strikeouts against Ubaldo Jimenez, who was on the mound for the Indians on Tuesday night.

"That wasn't my reason to give him a day off," Washington said.

Washington is in the final stages of giving players a day off before they go down the stretch. Texas went into Tuesday's game against Cleveland with a three-game lead in the American League West and 22 games left to play.

Washington said he would also like to get third baseman Adrian Beltre at least one game at designated hitter during this six-game homestand. Ian Kinsler may also get another day off soon.

Napoli catches seven innings in first rehab game

ARLINGTON -- Mike Napoli joined Double-A Frisco on Tuesday night to begin a medical rehabilitation assignment. He went 0-for-2 and was hit by a pitch, catching seven innings as he continues to rehab from a quad injury.

He's scheduled to catch nine on Wednesday in the second game of the Texas League championship series at Springfield, Mo.

The series resumes on Friday with Game 3 in Frisco. There is a possibility that Napoli could be used at designated hitter in that game before being activated this weekend with the Rangers. He has been sidelined since Aug. 11 with a strained left quad muscle.

"We'll see how he does in these first two games," manager Ron Washington said.

Geovany Soto was behind the plate again on Tuesday. He has started 24 of the last 30 games, and Washington said he could split the position equally when Napoli returns.

"We'll just see how Napoli does and how he stays together when he comes back," Washington said.

Playing center, Martin gets first start since callup

ARLINGTON -- Leonys Martin started in center field for the Rangers on Tuesday, the first time he has been in the lineup since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock at the beginning of September.

Martin was up with the Rangers from June 15 to July 30 while Mitch Moreland was on the disabled list and from Aug. 17-20 while Michael Young was on paternity leave. His last start was on July 28 against the White Sox.

"Coming up from Triple-A and swinging the bat well, I just haven't been able to get him in a game," manager Ron Washington said. "I hope he is my secret weapon tonight."

The Rangers signed Martin on May 4, 2011, after he defected from Cuba. He has played in 26 games at the Major League level and hit .217 (10-for-46) with four doubles, two triples and five RBIs. He was also a September callup in 2011.

He has played in 128 games in the Minor Leagues over the past two seasons and batted .323 with 101 runs, 34 doubles, seven triples, 16 home runs, 84 RBIs and 29 stolen bases in 533 at-bats. He has .388 on-base percentage and a .503 slugging percentage. He hit .379 with seven home runs in 24 games in August.

"I feel better than last year, especially in Triple-A," Martin said. "I feel confident I can do a good job."

After losing bet, Nathan dons Cowboys gear

ARLINGTON -- Rangers closer Joe Nathan was in full pads and helmet while wearing the Dallas Cowboys uniform during batting batting practice on Tuesday afternoon. Nathan was wearing a Tony Romo jersey while tossing the football around in center field.

Nathan, who is from New York and a Giants fan, was paying off a bet lost to reliever Mike Adams, the biggest Cowboys fan in the Rangers' locker room. The Cowboys beat the Giants, 24-17, last Wednesday in the season opener for both teams.

"Feels just like I thought it would, absolutely terrible," Nathan said. "Let's just say, I would have rather won the bet and watched him do it. But I've got to say he did a pretty good job of getting a uniform."

Nathan even signed autographs for fans while wearing the uniform.

"I'm kind of regretting that decision," Nathan said.

The Cowboys equipment crew provided the gear for Nathan to wear through Adams.

"Best bet I ever made," said Adams, who keeps a Cowboys helmet in his locker. "In Spring Training, when I first met him, first thing he told me was: 'I saw that crappy helmet in your locker. I'm a Giants fan so we should have some good bets going on.' It went from there."

Hamilton's bat leading Rangers wives' auction

ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton's personalized autographed bat continues to be the leader in the memorabilia auction being conducted online by the Rangers Wives Club and the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. There is less than a day left to bid at www.texasrangers.com/auction.

There are 37 items being auctioned and Hamilton's Louisville Slugger bat was going for $1,400. Next is Michael Young's autographed bat at $1,025 and Ian Kinsler's autographed glove at $850.

The auction ends Wednesday at noon CT, and the proceeds go towards Kenna's Kids, a nonprofit organization that reaches out to individual families with children experiencing medical challenges at a young age. Annually, Kenna's Kids selects three children and their families to assist with medical bills and provide a network of support.

Worth noting

• The Rangers have decided against renewing the contracts of Triple-A pitching coach Terry Clark, hitting coach Brant Brown and Class A Myrtle Beach hitting coach Julio Garcia.

• The Rangers had no further update on pitcher Roy Oswalt, who left Sunday's start against the Rays with tightness in his right elbow. Oswalt pitched just two innings on Sunday and was not expected to be available for at least a couple of days. Oswalt was making a spot start so Matt Harrison could get a couple extra days of rest, and the Rangers have no plans at this point for him to make another start.

• Robbie Ross, on the disabled list with a strained left forearm, threw long toss on Tuesday and is scheduled to throw off the mound on Thursday. Ross could be activated as early as Friday if he doesn't experience any more problems.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.