ARLINGTON, Tex. — Orioles left fielder Nelson Cruz wondered how he would be received in his first game back at Globe Life Park in Arlington, the place he had spent the past eight years of his career with the Texas Rangers, and where became one of the game’s top power hitters.
“It’s going to be weird,” Cruz said before the game. “I always hear cheers and “Cruz” here, so it’s hard to know what to expect. I have to be prepared [to be booed], but I’m expecting the best.”
Cruz’s questions were answered when he stepped to the plate for his first at-bat Tuesday in the first inning, and many fans in the half-filled seating bowl stood and cheered. There were unquestionably more “Cruz” chants than boos.
Cruz had four quiet plate appearances before stepping to the plate in the eighth, blasting a first-pitch fastball from reliever Shawn Tolleson approximately 404 feet into the left-field stands for a three-run homer, capping the Orioles’ six-run eighth inning in an 8-3 win over the Rangers in front of an announced 31,542.
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 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.
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.
— Baltimore Sun