Cruz finally finds his hitting groove

Cruz finally finds his hitting groove

Cruz finally finds his hitting groove
ARLINGTON -- Nelson Cruz busted out in a big way on Saturday against the Royals, snapping an 0-for-15 slump with a single, double and a home run in the Rangers' 10-1 victory.

It looked like Cruz was back in a rut on Sunday, going 0-for-3, until he hit a leadoff home run in the ninth off Royals closer Joakim Soria in an eventual 7-6 walk-off victory.

"The home run was on a slider down and in," Soria said. "He hit the ball well. They're Major League hitters, good hitters. I don't know what to say."

Even though Cruz was mired in the slump -- including an 0-for-7 in Friday's 14-inning loss -- he did not want to change his approach.

"I think my timing was off," Cruz said on Saturday. "When you get the timing on, then you can see better pitches, and recognize them sooner."

After hitting the single and double, Cruz announced his full arrival with a two-run home run in the sixth off Kansas City starter Sean O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan threw a good pitch, but Cruz hammered it over the left-field wall.

"It was a good pitch. It was low-and-in," Cruz said. "When your approach is good, you feel like you can hit any pitch, so that's what happened [Saturday] night."

Cruz said that a first inning pop-out alerted him that something was wrong, and he needed to be faster to the ball. Rangers manager Ron Washington felt it could have come a little sooner.

"One at-bat should trigger something," Washington said. "It just took him 15 at-bats to trigger it. You would hope the first one you take that isn't right it triggers, but it took 15. He should get better from each at-bat. So, I'm glad he's triggered. I just hope he's still triggered."