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New shoes lead to sore Achilles for Cruz

A sore Achilles tendon will keep Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz out of the lineup against the Giants Sunday.

SAN FRANCISCO — Some bad shoes may have led to Nelson Cruz being out of the lineup for Sunday's finale against the San Francisco Giants.


The Texas right fielder put on new spikes Thursday in Oakland that were low tops and started feeling some pain in his right Achilles while walking down the steps at the park. He continued to feel some pain in San Francisco and it got worse.


He switched back to his old spikes Saturday but it was too late as he was forced to leave Saturday's game early.


Cruz doesn't think it's anything serious. He said he'd be available to pinch hit Sunday and should be back at full strength after an off day Monday.


"I didn't think it was anything bad but yesterday it was getting worse during the game," Cruz said. "I just want to make sure it doesn't get more than what it was. It just got progressive. Every time I ran it felt worse."


Cruz got treatment on the Achilles Saturday and had it wrapped Sunday.


"I've never felt that before and it was weird the first time I felt it," said Cruz.


David Murphy started in right field Sunday for Cruz, who is batting just .194 on the road trip.


Texas manager Ron Washington said he planned to start Murphy Sunday regardless but the Cruz issue got another start for Craig Gentry, who is in centerfield.


"It's not like he hurt his Achilles or stretched or whatever," Washington said of Cruz. "It's the shoes that caused it. I don't know why you wear the half things anyways. You're supposed to wear shoes, baseball shoes. Now all the sudden everyone wants to do stuff with the shoes. It's all about style."


Michael Young was also of Sunday's lineup as Mitch Moreland drew the start at first.


Bullpen for Darvish


Texas right-hander Yu Darvish, who won't start again until Friday, threw the first of two bullpen sessions between starts Sunday at AT&T Park.


The focus of the bullpen sessions before the start against Houston is throwing strikes.


"It's that simple," pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "His good games… he doesn't give up many hits. His batting average against is really good. We just can't let one hit give up three runs. He's got such good swing-and-miss stuff, we just have to get him in counts where they have to swing."


Darvish is fifth in the American League in strikeouts with 77 but he's also second in the AL in walks with 44.


Time to shine at home


Tuesday begins a stretch of 16 games at home for the Rangers in a 19-game stretch.


Washington knows his team needs to start playing better and the homestand should provide them a chance. The Rangers are 15-11 at home this year.


"We better start playing some real good baseball at home," Washington said. "We usually dominate at home. Maybe this is what it's all about."