Texas Rangers: Bobby Cassevah

HR Tracker: Nelson Cruz hits longest in '12

June, 3, 2012
6/03/12
6:23
PM CT

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Nelson Cruz never did see where his blistering shot off reliever Bobby Cassevah landed Sunday. He didn't have to.

"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."

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 8, Angels 4

August, 16, 2011
8/16/11
12:14
AM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Rangers scored six runs in the fifth to get a big lead and held on, beating the Angels 8-4. The win puts the Rangers five games up on the Angels, their largest lead since July 19 (also five games). It also guarantees that they will be in first place in the AL West when the series ends. Even if Texas loses the next three games, they'll be two games up. Some quick thoughts on tonight's game:

* Alexi Ogando wasn't dominant, but he got the job done on Monday. He had allowed just two runs before the sixth, when he gave up a two-run homer to Russell Branyan. He ended up going 6 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

* Ian Kinsler, with a rare defensive mistake by the Angels, scored the first run of the game in the first. Kinsler had a nice seven-pitch at-bat and hit a 3-2 pitch for a double to the center-field wall. He went to third when catcher Bobby Wilson tried to throw the ball behind Kinsler at second and catch him napping. Instead, the throw was wide and Kinsler went to third. He scored on Elvis Andrus' ground ball.

* Kinsler had doubles in his first two at-bats and scored after both of them. Kinsler came into the game batting .353 with five homers and 21 RBIs in 33 games at Angel Stadium in his career. In other words: He loves hitting in Anaheim. He also made a nice defensive play in the fourth, ranging to his left and spinning around to throw and get the out, but he also missed a ball he normally gets on a two-out hit by Mark Trumbo in that fourth inning. Kinsler ended up 4-for-5.

* With Nelson Cruz batting and the count 1-2 in the first, Angels starter Garrett Richards was taken out because of a right abductor strain (groin). He had an awkward delivery and after 19 pitches was done. Reliever Bobby Cassevah came in much earlier than expected, putting early pressure on the Angels bullpen.

* Third baseman Michael Young couldn't get to a ball to his left hit by Torii Hunter in the second. Hunter later came around to score on Vernon Wells' double the other way. The hit had many of you asking on Twitter and on the chat: Does Adrian Beltre get to that ball?

* Young was tremendous at the plate once again. He had a great at-bat against Hisanori Takahashi in the fifth. With runners at second and third and one out, he hit a 2-2 fastball to center to score Kinsler and Andrus. Young has been critical for this team all season, especially with Josh Hamilton, Cruz and now Beltre out for extended periods. He's steady and consistent. And that hit turned a 3-1 game into a 5-1 game.

* It was strange to see the Angels make some miscues. With runners at first and second in the fifth, Takahashi fielded Andrus' bunt and threw toward third base. The ball went down the left field-line in foul territory, allowing a run to score. Young then drove in the other two runs. The Angels ended up with three errors. The last time they had three errors was April 9 against Toronto.

* Cruz, who just got some new bats shipped to him today (one of them had BOOM STICK etched on it), blasted a two-run homer off Rich Thompson. Mike Napoli followed with a solo shot to center field.

* Cruz came out of the game in the seventh with tightness in his left quad. That was the same injury he had during the last road trip in Toronto at the end of July. He missed a few games because of it.

* Apparently, there was some entertaining and colorful language coming from the Rangers dugout on the broadcast. We couldn't hear that live here in Anaheim, but many of you in the chat room said you could hear it and that Beltre was doing his fair share of yelling. The mic was placed there by the Angels TV crew. It was turned down or taken away midway through the game. Did you enjoy Beltre's commentary?

* Yorvit Torrealba drew a rare walk in the second inning. It was just his 15th walk of the season in his 89th game. But he showed a good eye and made Cassevah work.

* Angels had to use four relievers, which will make things a little tougher on them for the rest of the series.

* Koji Uehara came in to relieve Ogando in the sixth and was impressive. He needed just 17 pitches to get five outs. He had two strikeouts and the only baserunner he allowed was on a Young error. He's aggressive and doesn't allow hitters to barrel balls very often.

* Mark Lowe made the ninth interesting after Erick Aybar had a bunt single and Peter Bourjos walked. But Lowe struck out Branyan and Maicer Izturis and got Jeff Mathis out on a soft liner to short.

* Rangers first-base and outfield coach Gary Pettis, a former Angel, threw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of the club's 50th anniversary celebration. He got a big hand. Pettis is also in the excellent pregame video that plays on the big screens before the games.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182