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Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Big-shot Nelson Cruz admired blast

By Jeff Caplan

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tampa Bay ace David Price appeared headed toward his first quick inning when he retired Josh Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero for two outs in the top of the third inning.

Then he went 3-0 to Nelson Cruz. And then Price made a big mistake. Cruz crushed Price's fourth offering, a 93 mph fastball, to dead center. It finally landed on the blue roof over an building that houses equipment. The center-field wall is listed at 404 feet. The tape-measure guy at Tropicana Field officially put Cruz's blast at 438 feet, but that, it would seem, could be argued.

Not that it mattered to Cruz. He knew he got all of it in giving the Rangers a 3-0 lead in their 5-1 win over the Rays in Game 1 of the ALDS.

"It had to be 400 feet to get out, it's enough. I'm just happy to get the win today," Cruz said. "You usually see Josh and Vlady hit it that far, so it was a pretty good shot."