Cruz effective going the opposite way

Cruz effective going the opposite way

ARLINGTON -- In the Rangers' previous three games before this week's series against the Blue Jays, they had scored seven runs. Nelson Cruz drove in eight on Friday night.

In two at-bats with the bases loaded, Cruz hit a bases-clearing double in the first inning and a grand slam in the seventh. Both of those hits were to the opposite field, with the double going to right-center field and the home run going over the right-field wall. With the bases loaded, Cruz is 5-for-8 with 16 RBIs this season.

"That's when he's at his best," Washington said. "We needed everything he gave us."

Cruz has two grand slams this month, with the first coming off the Angels' Jered Weaver on May 13. He tied a career high with eight RBIs on Friday and became the first player in team history to record multiple eight-RBI games in his career. Cruz drove in eight runs last July, also against the Blue Jays at home, becoming just the fourth player in baseball history to have eight RBIs in more than one game against the same opponent.

"That's my approach," said Cruz of his mindset to drive the ball to right field. "Most of the pitches I see are that way."