CLEVELAND -- Nelson Cruz said he wasn't mad at home plate umpire Bill Welke when Cruz struck out swinging in the seventh inning during Friday's game against the Indians. Cruz said he was frustrated at himself for striking out with one out and a runner at second base.
"I was mad didn't put the ball in play," Cruz said. "I felt I had a chance to do damage if I put the ball in play. I wasn't able to do that."
After he swung and missed, Cruz slammed his bat on home plate and broke it into two pieces. He then headed back to the dugout but looked over his shoulder and glared at Welke. That's when Welke threw him out of the game.
"Welke just said that he wasn't going to let him embarrass him," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He let him get away with slamming his bat but when he looked back, that did it."
Cruz was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the game. All four at-bats came with runners in scoring position. It's only the third time in his career he has gone hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position in a game. It's the first time he has ever been ejected from a game and Washington said he has never seen Cruz lose his temper like that.
"I think what happened was it was a buildup," Washington said. "Every at-bat he had, there were runners on the bag."