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Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus have a blast

4/5/2011



ARLINGTON, Texas -- Nelson Cruz homers every game.

Elvis Andrus, conversely, went homerless in 2010.

Each reached the stands with an important solo shot in the Rangers’ 6-4 win over the Seattle Mariners before 37,618 fans Monday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers have hit 13 home runs in 32 innings so far this season.

With a blast of 419 feet in the fourth inning, Cruz became the first American League player and only the third major leaguer to hit a home run in each of his first four games of a season.

It doesn't take long to call roll in the company in which Cruz finds himself: Willie Mays and Mark McGwire.

“Yeah, I know who they are,’’ Cruz said afterward. “But really, what makes it special is we are winning. That’s the main thing.’’

Despite the attention he is getting, Cruz said he hasn't changed his philosophy at the plate.

Andrus had gone 705 plate appearances since he last homered, on Sept. 2, 2009.

His teammates greeted him with silent treatment for about 10 seconds after his return to the dugout.

“Yeah, they acted like nothing happened and I thought, 'OK, if that’s the way you want it.' Then they all were slapping me on the back,’’ Andrus said.

It didn’t surprise Cruz that the shortstop went deep.

“Elvis has been showing some pop this year,’’ Cruz said.

Andrus had an explanation: “The way the guys on the team are hitting home runs, I guess it is contagious.’’