The Texas Rangers usually have at least two position players
make the All-Star game, but Nelson Cruz is the only one this
The Houston Astros certainly know how dangerous he can be.
Cruz has a 13-game hitting streak against the Astros with homers
in the last four matchups heading into Sunday’s series finale in
Texas (50-37) will see its streak of having more than one
position player in the All-Star game end at five, barring any
injury replacements. Cruz, with team highs of 22 home runs and 66
RBIs, will be the only one at Citi Field.
“He has been the one constant and certainly needed,” manager Ron
Washington told the Rangers’ official website. “He is a big reason
why we are where we are.”
Cruz is hitting .370 with five homers and 17 RBIs during his
streak against the Astros. He also owns a 10-game run against them
at home in which he’s batting .375 with five homers and 11
The right fielder went 3 for 4 on Saturday but the Rangers’
six-game win streak over the Astros ended with a 9-5 defeat.
Jason Castro hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the seventh
inning as Houston went deep three times and finished with its
highest-scoring effort in 16 games.
“There was a feeling on the bench that we had put together some
pretty good at-bats and that we could break through,” said Castro,
7 for 13 with six RBIs in his last three games against the Rangers
after going 0 for 19 in the first five meetings.
Marc Krauss went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and Brett Wallace reached
base all five times for Houston (32-56), which won for the second
time in nine games.
“Those guys are professionals and they could catch some pitches.
Tonight they caught some,” Washington said. “They swung the bats
Krauss was 1 for 15 in his career before getting three straight
“I thought Krauss had tremendous at-bats,” manager Bo Porter
said. “He really grinded it.”
The Rangers are now 16-11 against left-handed starters as they
prepare to face Erik Bedard (3-4, 4.59 ERA), who owns a 6.69 ERA on
the road compared to a 2.98 home mark.
Bedard has gone 2-1 with a 2.92 ERA in his last four outings,
but those all came at home. He yielded two runs over five innings
and did not get a decision in his lone start of the season against
Texas on May 11, an 8-7 home loss.
Cruz is 6 for 19 against Bedard, faring better than Adrian
Beltre (4 for 22) and Elvis Andrus (3 for 17).
Right-hander Justin Grimm (7-6, 5.84) will oppose Bedard. He’s
2-3 with a 9.31 ERA in his last six outings.
Grimm won his lone start against Houston in his major league
debut last June 16, yielding three runs over six innings of an 8-3
The Rangers will likely activate right-hander Joakim Soria on
Sunday. The former Kansas City closer hasn’t pitched since 2011 due
to elbow ligament replacement surgery.