The Juice: Nelson Cruz uses 'boomstick,' glove to beat Athletics

David Brown
July 28, 2010
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Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts at the Ballpark at Arlington, where slugger Nelson Cruz(notes) had himself a Texas-sized evening.

Game of the Day: Rangers 3, Athletics 1 (10 inn.)

Swing: The only upsetting part for the Rangers was that Cliff Lee(notes) didn't get the victory. He struck out a career-best 13, but was gone by the time Cruz came to bat against Michael Wuertz(notes).

Watch Cruz walk it off with his boomstick

Leap: And don't try tricking him with fly balls, either. Cruz robbed Kevin Kouzmanoff(notes) of at least two bases plus an RBI — maybe more — with this catch in the sixth.

Texas improved to 9-3 in the second half and is now 8 1/2 games up on the Angels. The Rangers are off to the wild blue yonder in the AL West.

"That one was great, considering the way we were playing and the way Cliff is throwing the ball," Cruz said. "He didn't get the win, but we got on top — that's the most important thing."

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They Also Played...

Dodgers 2, Padres 0: The seventh inning played out like the scene in "The Princess Bride" when Wallace Shawn and Cary Elwes were trying to outsmart each other.

With the pitcher's spot up next, Jon Garland(notes) walked Russell Martin(notes) intentionally to load the bases. Surprise! Joe Torre springs pinch hitter Andre Ethier(notes), who couldn't start because of a stomach bug. But he could pinch hit. Bam! Two-run single. Ballgame.

Garland fell victim to one of the classic blunders — the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia" — but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go against a Sicilian manager when the game is on the line!"

Phillies 9, D-backs 5: They chopped the Braves lead in half in matter of five days.

Indians 4, Yankees 1: Rookie right-hander Josh Tomlin(notes), as I think we all figured would happen, shut down the Yankees and prevented Alex Rodriguez(notes) from hitting his 600th career home run.

Nationals 3, Braves 0: Consider: Stephen Strasburg(notes), through some kind of Strasmatic possession, pitched via the vessel known as Miguel Batista(notes).

Blue Jays 2, Orioles 0: Jose Bautista(notes) turns 30! If this were "Logan's Run," he'd be out of luck. But this is just 30 home runs, so he gets to live.

Pirates 4, Rockies 2: Hug it out for Huston Street(notes), Pirates closer Octavio Dotel(notes) and catcher Erik Kratz(notes) (pictured).

It's probably not a good omen, in addition to all of the other reasons it's not good, for your closer to get hit in the abdomen with a ball during batting practice. It was so painful for Street, that he "fainted two or three times" before the ambulance came onto the field at Coors to take him away.

And then the Rox lost their seventh straight. Maybe this ain't their year.

Mets 8, Cardinals 2: Adam Wainwright(notes) no es buenwright against Carlos Beltron y Los Mets.

Rays 3, Tigers 2: I thought for sure he'd take the out at home, but Evan Longoria(notes) started a thrilling game-ending 5-4-3 double play — with Reid Brignac(notes) making an awesome pivot and relay. Other than a leaping catch to rob someone of a home run, it's as exciting as defense gets.

Astros 6, Cubs 1: Brett Myers(notes) made a better showing for the scouts than did Ted Lilly(notes). Will either of them be pitching at a different address next week? Magic eight-ball says yes no maybe.

Reds 12, Brewers 4: Brandon Phillips(notes), Joey Votto(notes) and Scott Rolen(notes) had four hits apiece. Dusty Baker compared the Reds' offense to a merry-go-round. The Jonny Gomes(notes) horse would be most appealing to me. Might get thrown.

White Sox 11, Mariners 0: Ryan Rowland-Smith(notes) gave up all 11 runs. Crikey. Gavin Floyd(notes), quite conversely, has a 1.04 ERA in his past 10 starts.

Twins 11, Royals 2: A boxing referee would have stopped this series in the eighth inning — but they play again Wednesday.

Red Sox 4, Angels 2: They booed John Lackey(notes) on his return to the Big A. He didn't expect it and his feelings seemed hurt.

"Nobody wants to get booed like that," Lackey said. "The scoreboard talks the loudest. ... That won't be forgotten, for sure."

Well, I guess there's no chance now of Lackey coming back to Anaheim to finish his career when 37 years old. We'll all just have to get through Wednesday together. Hold my hand!

Giants 6, Marlins 4: That's a 20-game hitting streak for Buster Posey(notes). The Giants actually scored three times against Josh Johnson(notes), which is amazing.

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