x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Cruz is third in MLB history to hit fourth straight homer for Rangers

Rangers are rock solid in offence with even Andrus chipping in with a rare home run as they beat the Mariners 6-4.

Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz celebrates as he heads to the dugout following his solo home run in the fourth inning. Tom Fox / AP Photo
Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz celebrates as he heads to the dugout following his solo home run in the fourth inning. Tom Fox / AP Photo

ARLINGTON, Texas // Home runs are a regular thing for Nelson Cruz, and a rarity for Texas teammate Elvis Andrus.

Cruz became the third player in Major League history to homer in the first four games of a season, Andrus hit his first home run in 705 at-bats and the Rangers remained one of four unbeaten teams in the big leagues with a 6-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

"We've got a solid offence," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Anybody in the lineup can get you. Tonight Elvis got us going. And Cruz came back and got another one. ... Anytime you've got that lineup, that's what it's all about."

Cruz went to the plate in the fourth inning guessing he'd get a first-pitch curve from Seattle starter Erik Bedard. Instead, Bedard threw something else off speed and Cruz adjusted with a drive over the center-field fence to give him four of Texas' 13 homers this season.

"In that at-bat I was thinking, hit the ball through the hole (at) second base hard, because he was throwing that curveball," Cruz said "I was hoping he would throw that so I could hit it the other way, but he threw me a changeup and I turned on it."

Cruz joined Willie Mays (1971) and Mark McGwire (1998) as the only players to go deep in each of their first four games of a season.

Andrus, who didn't homer last season, hit the seventh of his career off a cutter with nobody on in the first. When he ran down the dugout steps, his teammates remained seated with blank expressions. Washington was the first to offer congratulations, followed by the rest of the team.

"I knew they were going to do something. I knew they were going to plan something because it's been a little while since I hit the last one," Andrus said about the silent treatment.

Derek Holland pitched six effective innings for Texas (4-0), off to its best start since opening 7-0 in 1996. The Rangers were coming off a three-game weekend sweep of Boston.

RESULTS (home team in CAPS)

Atlanta 2 MILWAUKEE 1
CHICAGO CUBS 4 Arizona 1
BALTIMORE 5 Detroit 1
NY YANKEES 4 Minnesota 3