Cruz went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and two runs in Wednesday's 13-3 rout of Oakland. His 10th long ball of the year helped push his season OPS back over .900, and Cruz remains on pace to roughly approximate the 40-homer campaigns he's thrown down for the past two years. He's had an up-and-down career, but amazingly has put together his most consistent stretch ever in his early-to-mid 30s. And he's extra hot lately, notching three homers and 11 RBI over his last nine games.
Mariners manager Scott Servais plans to play Cruz in right field for all three games of an upcoming series in Cincinnati, Bob Dutton of The Tacoma News Tribune reports. The Mariners obviously prefer to keep Cruz out of the field, but not at the expense of losing his bat in a National League ballpark. He could be in for a big weekend, facing a poor pitching staff at a homer-friendly stadium.
Cruz homered and knocked in five runs in a 3-for-3 performance with a walk in Monday's win over the Orioles. Cruz now has three home runs in his past five games. The hot streak has raised his slugging percentage from .454 to .511 and he is now on pace for 34 home runs despite the slow (by his standards) start. Cruz has shown excellent plate discipline this season, with a 10.2 percent walk rate that would be his highest of the decade powering a .379 on-base percentage. That discipline can only help his quest for a third consecutive 40-homer season.
Cruz went 2-for-3 with a walk and his sixth homer of the year, off Rays' starter Chris Archer, in Wednesday extra-inning victory. After mashing 40-plus homers in each of the past two season, the power-hitting DH is currently on pace to hit less than 30 this season. Cruz hit .304/.375/.517 at home in 2015, but has only managed to slash .196/.328/.373 through his first 51 at-bats in 2016 at Safeco Field. His slow start is a bit concerning because Cruz has typically racked up good numbers in April and May over the past few seasons.
Cruz is back in the lineup Monday, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Cruz was held out of action Sunday due to a bruised right forearm, but the ailment was never considered serious, and he'll return to his usual DH spot Monday. Cruz will bat cleanup against the Rays' Matt Moore.
|vs SAN DIEGO||2/4||.500||0||1||0||0||0|
|vs SHIELDS (CAREER)||5/27||.185||1||0||0||0||8|