Outfielder Nelson Cruz, the one Rangers hitter who seems to have stumbled out of the second-half gate, got a day offWednesday against the Los Angeles Angels.

"I just thought he needed it," manager Ron Washington said. "There are some times when it looks like he's just trying to do too much. He's experiencing a little adversity now that will make him a better player. And it gives me a chance to get David Murphy in the lineup."

And as things go when a team is playing well, the Murphy move paid some quick dividends. Murphy, who entered the game 4-for-12 against Angels starter Dan Haren, hit a two-run homer in the fourth that gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead.