video thumbnail

TOR@TEX: Cruz drives in eight runs against Toronto

ARLINGTON -- On the surface, the Rangers could do no wrong on Friday night against the Blue Jays, as their hitting and pitching were both dominant in a 12-2 victory at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Despite Nelson Cruz driving in a career-high eight runs, the Rangers may be feeling the negative effects of this game for a long time.

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, who has played in all 100 games this season, strained his left hamstring while going first to third on a double by Michael Young in the fifth inning.

"I felt a really hard grab," Beltre said. "I felt like I was going to tear my leg, but it didn't get to that point. But I feel bad."

With the Rangers up, 6-0, when he was injured, Beltre said he was probably running a little bit too hard at that point in the game, especially when there wasn't a play at third base.

"Today, I wasn't smart enough," Beltre said. "I was running too hard on that play even though I knew it was kind of bothering me a little bit."

The club announced that Beltre will undergo an MRI on Saturday to determine the severity of his injury.

"I just hope it's not as bad as I felt it was," Beltre said. "We're going to have an MRI tomorrow and find out exactly what it is."

In the meantime, it is all but certain that his playing streak will come to a close on Saturday, but that may be overshadowed if Beltre has to endure a lengthy DL stint in recovery.

"He's a huge part of our team," Young said. "He's having a great year. He's a great player, great teammate and we want to get him back in there as quickly as possible. We'll have to find a way to chip away and pick up the slack."

All this combined to damper what was a special night for Cruz. The right fielder finished a triple shy of the cycle and one short of Ivan Rodriguez's club record of nine RBIs in a game, which was set on April 13, 1999. While Cruz fell short of a record night, he still went 4-for-4 with a home run.

"Your teammates have to get on base, you have to have the swings you need and then you have to get lucky, getting hits [in] every at-bat," Cruz said.

Most exciting for Rangers manager Ron Washington was the way in which Cruz hit the ball. All of his hits save for the double down the left-field line were in the center of the field. That serves as a sign to Washington that Cruz's mechanics are in sync.

"His approach tonight was towards the middle of the field, and when Nelson does that, his hands work real good," Washington said.

"His body was in position to stay in the center of the field, and his hands worked real well. Eight RBIs, geez."

While Cruz led the way, he was far from the only Ranger to contribute on offense. Young had four hits for his 16th game of three-or-more hits this season, which trails only Adrian Gonzalez for the lead in the Major Leagues.

Beltre, Young and Cruz managed to go a perfect 10-for-10 with three doubles, a walk and a home run in the four-through-six spots in the lineup.

"They're a very balanced team," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "We always refer to Boston and New York, but this team is as explosive and deep as any we'll ever face in this league."

Colby Lewis extended a phenomenal stretch of starting pitching, as his one-run, two-hit effort over 6 2/3 innings means that Rangers starters have allowed one-or-fewer runs in eight of their last nine games.

Lewis tossed five no-hit innings, but gave up a solo home run to J.P. Arencibia in the sixth to lose the shutout and no-hitter simultaneously.

"You know it's there," Lewis said of the no-hitter. "I feel like I made a decent pitch, but [Arencibia] fouled a couple pitches off there, and I felt like maybe he was locked in. I hadn't thrown him a curveball yet, but he was on it. It's hard to get 27 outs without giving up a hit."

Lewis matched his career high with his fifth consecutive win, moving to 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA over his last seven starts.

"Great command," Washington said. "He had great command tonight, and he used his breaking ball, his fastball, his changeup down in the zone. He certainly didn't make many mistakes."

MLB.com Comments