ARLINGTON -- In the six games leading up to Saturday's matchup with the Rays, Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz hit only .158 with six strikeouts and no home runs in 19 at-bats. Nearly all of Cruz's outs in the past week have been strikeouts or groundouts. Manager Ron Washington attributed Cruz's struggles to a tendency to try to pull the ball too much. "When he's in the middle of the field, he's totally dangerous," Washington said. "You can talk to him, but it's something that when he steps in that box, he has to make a conscious effort to do. It's on him."
Cruz's late-April dry spell mirrors the one he had last season; he hit .188 without a homer in the final 13 games of April 2011 after homering in each of the first four games.