Between April 11-15, Mariners OF/DH Nelson Cruz homered in five consecutive games, including a two-home run game against the Dodgers. He entered Sunday’s game against the Rangers on a seven-game hitting streak, but hadn’t homered in two games. He changed that in a hurry.
Cruz belted a solo home run to left center in the first inning against Rangers starter Ross Detwiler, following a leadoff home run from Austin Jackson. Cruz homered again in the bottom of the third, a three-run shot to left field also off of Detwiler. With the game tied 10-10 in the bottom of the ninth, Cruz walked the Mariners off with an RBI single to left field off of Neftali Feliz. Cruz has a .354/.404/.854 triple-slash line with eight home runs and 14 RBI in 52 plate appearances across 12 games.
Here’s video of the walk off single:
[mlbvideo id=”81240983″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]
Cruz, 34, signed a four-year, $57 million contract with the Mariners in December. With the Orioles in 2014, Cruz led the league with 40 home runs and also knocked in 108 runs.
The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.
After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.
Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.
Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:
In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?