Cruz feels better after exiting loss with stiff back

Cruz feels better after exiting loss with stiff back

Cruz feels better after exiting loss with stiff back
ARLINGTON -- Outfielder Nelson Cruz left the Rangers' 6-2 loss to the Tigers on Friday night with lower back stiffness but believes he'll be able to play on Saturday.

He dived for and missed a sinking liner hit by Austin Jackson in the seventh inning and was replaced by Craig Gentry in the top of the eighth. The ball rolled to the right-field wall as Jackson raced around the bases for his first career inside-the-park home run and the first hit by an opponent at the Ballpark in Arlington in six years.

"I feel better now," Cruz said. "It was kind of stiff and tight. I did a few stretches and iced it, so hopefully I'll be good for tomorrow."

Two batters later, Miguel Cabrera lifted a routine fly ball to right that fell in and out of Cruz's glove. Cabrera slid in safely to second base as Cruz committed his second error of the season. He was 2-for-3 before being pulled.

"I felt like I closed my eyes," Cruz said. "I have no excuse. I should've caught the ball. I guess I was out of focus."

"I don't know if [the back stiffness] affected him on the dropped ball," manager Ron Washington said. "I just think he dropped it. That's a lot of poundage hitting the ground. He had a stiff back so he came out, got some treatment and he's feeling better. I think he'll be able to play tomorrow."