Orioles left fielder Nelson Cruz almost didn’t take his final at-bat Tuesday night against the Texas Rangers, but he wasn’t going to give manager Buck Showalter any reason pull him with the score tied heading into the eighth inning. Cruz, who was playing in his first game back at Globe Life Park in Arlington, where he spent the past eight seasons of his career with the Rangers, had been bothered by leg cramps since the fourth inning. “It was bad,” Cruz said. “I wanted to take my last at-bat and hopefully get something going. The game was tied going into that inning.” By the time Cruz stepped to the plate, the Orioles had scored three runs in the inning, but Cruz then launched a first-pitch delivery from reliever Shawn Tolleson approximately 404 feet into the left-field seats for a three-run homer that capped a six-run eighth in the Orioles' 8-3 win over the Rangers in front of an announced 31,542. Cruz took a slow trot around the bases, his muscles tightening up with every stride. And he even told Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, his former teammate, that he was going slow because he was cramping as he rounded second base. “We were debating, he and I, about whether he should take that last at-bat or not,” Showalter said. “He said let me see how it feels on deck, and he took the at-bat, and he got halfway down to first. That was a cramp trot.” The Orioles had 17 hits in the win. Every starter had at least one hit, and five different players had multiple hits, including struggling rookie catcher Caleb Joseph, who recorded his first career multihit game with two hits. The Orioles (29-27) won their third straight game and are now 4-4 on their three-city, 10-game road trip through Milwaukee, Houston and Texas. The Rangers fell to 29-29 this year. Cruz, who has nine homers in his last 14 games, continued his seasonlong tear. He leads the majors with 21 homers and 55 RBIs. He has dominated opponents on the road, hitting 14 homers with 42 RBIs in 33 games away from Camden Yards this season.
Cruz hits three-run HR in Orioles' 8-3 win over Rangers
Baltimore Sun | Jun 4