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Cruz finding his groove at the plate

Cruz finding his groove at the plate

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Cruz finding his groove at the plate
ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton's recent historic week has garnered a lot of attention, but Nelson Cruz has had a respectable stretch of his own.

Since May 7, Cruz has just as many hits (14) and has reached base just as many times (18) as Hamilton, entering Monday. He hit his third career grand slam in a 13-6 win over the Angels on Sunday night and tied a career high with four hits, falling a triple shy of the cycle. Cruz became the ninth player in Rangers history to record four hits, including a grand slam, in a game.

"I can tell the last few weeks that I've felt good at the plate," Cruz said. "I'm just driving the ball the other way, waiting for the right pitch, and trying to be patient."

Manager Ron Washington hinted before Sunday's game that Cruz was due to have an off-day sometime soon. Even after hitting his first grand slam since his walk-off shot in Game 2 of last year's ALCS against Detroit, Washington still says that Cruz will get a day off, likely before the Rangers travel to begin a three-game series in Houston on Friday.

"It doesn't matter," Washington said. "We're going to get him a day. I don't know which one, but he's going to get one. He needs a mental break."

Cruz is batting .500 with four doubles and seven RBIs in his last seven games.

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