"My teammates told me how far it went and all about it," said Cruz, smiling. "I knew I hit it pretty good."
Pretty good? According to ESPN's Home Run Tracker, Cruz's homer went 484 feet, the longest home run in the big leagues this season. ESPN's database goes back to 2006 and it's the longest home run at Angel Stadium since then. The ball landed, fittingly enough, near the Monster Energy sign high up the grassy hill in left field, beyond the flag poles.
Cruz hit it on a 3-0 count.
"He was in a good position and I told them last night that we needed to be aggressive, so I had to be aggressive too," manager Ron Washington said. "So I gave him the 3-0 hack and he did a good job with it. That's what you're supposed to do on a 3-0 pitch."
Coming into Sunday, there were just seven 3-0 home runs hit in the majors this season and the last time Cruz hit one on that count was Game 1 of the 2010 ALDS off Tampa Bay starter David Price.
"They gave me the green light," Cruz said. "The at-bat before that, I took a 3-0 pitch. I was expecting something up in the strike zone and that's what I got."
His teammates jumped up and down in the dugout, many amazed by how far the ball traveled.
"Oh my," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "I've seen a lot of homers from him, but that one and the one he hit in Minnesota was far, really far. That's got to be the hardest I've seen a ball hit in this park. I'm really happy he's with us."