Francisco update, Cruz not in lineup

Frank Francisco, sidelined with bicep tendinitis in his right shoulder, threw long toss on Friday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and had no problems.

Long toss is basically playing catch from 120 feet on flat ground, although still putting some mustard on the ball. The next step is a session off the mound in the bullpen

“Good,” Francisco said. “Very good. I think I’m going to throw a bullpen tomorrow and go from there.”

If Francisco has no trouble throwing off the mound, he could be ready to resume his closer’s duties on Sunday. If not Sunday, Tuesday in Detroit would be a possibility.

Also, Nelson Cruz was out of the lineup on Friday so that Andruw Jones could play left field. Marlon Byrd moved over to right field. It’s the second time that Cruz, a right-handed hitter, has not been in the lineup with a left-hander on the mound.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with left-handers,” Manager Ron Washington said. “It’s how we can formulate a lineup with Jones in there. Nelson is my right fielder. He’s still going to play 148-150 games.”

Washington used two left-handed hitters in the lineup against Angels left-hander Joe Saunders. He had Hank Blalock at designated hitter and Chris Davis at first base. Both had home runs in the ninth inning on Thursday in the 3-2 victory over the Mariners.


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