Michael Young, Nelson Cruz get green lights

May, 29, 2011
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.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.


Elvis Andrus
.302 1 3 9
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 9
OPSS. Choo .830
WP. Figueroa 2
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23