The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Texas Rangers by a score of 8-3 last night in an American League showdown. The victory was sweet, as it snapped the O’s out of a losing streak, but the win was even more satisfying for Baltimore designated hitter Nelson Cruz.
You see, Cruz wore a Rangers uniform for the past eight years, until he became a free agent at the end of the season. The team and its DH failed to come to an agreement, after Cruz turned down the Rangers’ $14.1 million qualifying offer this past year. Instead, Cruz signed an $8 million, one-year deal with Baltimore.
Last night was the first time Cruz returned to Globe Life Park since leaving the American League West team. And it was a good night for last week's American League Player of the Week.
The first seven innings of the game were quite the nail-biter as the two teams were neck-and-neck. This all changed when the right-hander stepped up to the plate. After replacement catcher Caleb Joseph and right fielder Nick Markakis both hit consecutive singles, it was Cruz’s mission to bring them in. And that he did with a towering homerun. This was Cruz’s twenty-first on the year, the most in the majors.
— Jessie Cadena Jr. (@yesE_chain) June 4, 2014
Nelson cruz* is having a great year!
— Benjamin Strobel (@ben_strobel) June 4, 2014
— DFW Sports News (@SportsDayDFW) June 4, 2014
They might need to test Nelson Cruz again
— Boss Don Robby Veli (@robby305) June 4, 2014
In the same inning centerfielder Adam Jones also hit the long ball, and Texas responded when it took the plate with a homerun by third baseman Adrian Beltre.
The Orioles ended up taking the win, and although Cruz with the king of the ball, the rest of the Baltimore team did quite impressively, as well.
Hear about Cruz's signing, here:
Jones went 4-for-5 with a homerun and two runs scored, Markakis had three hits, and Delmon Young, Jonathan Schoop, and Joseph each had two hits and a run scored.
Orioles reliever Brian Matusz earned the win after taking over for starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who allowed only one run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Rangers pitcher Alexi Ogando took the loss.
Image via Baltimore Orioles, Twitter