Cruz activated off 15-day disabled list

Cruz activated off 15-day disabled list

TORONTO -- Right fielder Nelson Cruz made his much anticipated return to the Rangers' lineup against the Blue Jays on Friday night at Rogers Centre, and had four RBIs by the second inning.

Cruz, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 27 with a strained right hamstring, hit sixth in a lineup that has been praised for its power.

"This is probably the first game since Spring Training that the whole team is playing together," Cruz said. "It's really exciting to see what we can do all together as a team."

In 2009, the Rangers were second in the American League with 224 home runs, but entering Friday's contest, they were in a three-way tie for seventh in the AL with only 32 home runs, 20 behind the Major League leading Blue Jays.

Last season, Cruz hit 33 homers with 76 RBIs, a bat Rangers manager Ron Washington said the team is thrilled to have back in the order.

"Yeah, it's nice to have them out there together," Washington said about his starting lineup -- one he hasn't seen since mid-March. "Pitchers definitely will have some work to do. You got one through seven, and they can take eight and nine lightly if they want to, and they could get hurt there too."

Through two Minor League games with Triple-A Oklahoma City, Cruz went 3-for-9 with three RBIs.

"The first time up there was kind of tough, the first at-bat it was hard to make contact because my timing was off," Cruz said. "My other three at-bats, I was pretty good, I hit a double and when I struck out, I still saw all really good pitches. The next game was really good, I had two hits and I hit line drives -- definitely were good at-bats."

As for his hamstring, Cruz said he took an early jog around the stadium with absolutely no pain. Washington, however, said he does not like the artificial turf at Rogers Centre and has decided to give a few of his starters a day off over the weekend, including second baseman Ian Kinsler for Saturday's contest and possibly Cruz, who hit a sacrifice fly and a three-run double in his first two plate appearances Friday, either Saturday or Sunday.

"We can't have too many of them out together," Washington said. "[The turf] bothers me more as a coach, I still don't know how they do it."

With the move to reactivate Cruz, first baseman Ryan Garko -- .091 with three RBIs this season -- has been optioned to Oklahoma City.