Michael Young, Nelson Cruz get green lights

May, 29, 2011
5/29/11
7:15
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The biggest hit of the game came from Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, who stroked an RBI single to right that scored Mike Napoli with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning in the 7-6 victory over the Royals.

But two other blasts in the late innings were huge for the Rangers.

Michael Young homered on a 3-0 pitch, a two-run shot to tie the game at 5-5, in the eighth inning. After the Royals regained the lead in the top of the ninth, Nelson Cruz homered on a 3-1 pitch from Royals closer Joakim Soria to re-tie the game in bottom of the ninth and set the stage for Andrus' game-winner.

Rangers manager Ron Washington doesn't mind giving his sluggers the green light on 3-0 or 3-1 counts. Young hit his homer on a pitch that was belt high and Cruz did the same on a pitch slightly lower in the strike zone.

"Nothing changes actually. It's the same approach I have if I'm 0-2," said Young, who has 35 RBIs on the season. "A lot of times people think, 'Oh I can't miss it.' That's probably the wrong attitude to have. Just try and get a pitch to hit."

Young's homer had former President George W. Bush jumping up and down at his front row seat near the Rangers dugout. As Young approached the dugout after the home run, the former president tipped his baseball cap to the Rangers DH.

"We've met and we've talked a lot throughout the years and I had a chance to meet him a couple of times when he comes to our games," Young said. "We always have good conversations and he was pretty fired up."
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Elvis Andrus
BA HR RBI R
.302 1 3 9
OTHER LEADERS
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 9
OPSS. Choo .830
WP. Figueroa 2
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23