- Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN Staff Writer
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ian Kinsler hoped and prayed Nelson Cruz would find his stroke soon.
One reason motivated Kinsler: When he gets hot, Cruz can carry a team like few others in the big leagues.
That’s not hyperbole.
Cruz had five RBIs in the Rangers’ dramatic, 7-3, 11-inning win over Detroit on Monday night.
It marked the fourth time this season Cruz had driven in five runs or more in a game this season. Among the the AL players who finished among the top 10 in RBIs, only Robinson Cano had more than two games with five RBI or more.
Cano had one game with six RBIs and two with five RBIs. Cruz had one game with eight RBIs, two games with six and one with five.
“When Nelly gets hot, you can jump on his back and he can carry you,” Kinsler said. “He and Josh can do it because they’re such good hitters and they can hit any pitch when they’re locked in.”
To take it a step further, Cruz had six games with at least four RBIs. Only Curtis Granderson and Cano of the Yankees had more games with four or more RBI than Cruz.
Each had seven.
Just so you know, Granderson and Cano finished 1-2 in the AL in RBI. Cruz played in only 124 games but finished the season with 29 homers and 87 RBIs.