ARLINGTON, Texas -- The last time a Texas Rangers batter smacked four home runs in the first five games of the season, Dean Palmer did it at the old park, Arlington Stadium, in 1993.
Nelson Cruz joined Palmer with his fourth homer in the opening five games. He sent a rocket shot into the left-field bleachers in the sixth inning for a 3-1 Rangers lead. Seattle rallied for three runs in the ninth inning for a 4-3 win. Cruz is now hitting .444 with eight hits in 18 bats. Half of his hits have left the yard.
"Hot. He's swinging a real good bat, hitting the ball hard," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He’s getting his pitches and not missing."
Nelson is 4-for-8 in the first two games of this series, with Sunday's first pitch set for 2:05 p.m. He has two homers in the series and now has a team-high eight RBIs, half of the team's total and six more than any other Rangers player.
"You don’t expect to hit a homer every at bat, just go up there and square up and maybe the ball will go," Cruz said. "You don’t go out there and think just homers, you try to drive the ball everywhere."
Nelson isn't get much help. Vladimir Guerrero went 0-for-4 Saturday to drop his team-leading average to .474. Second baseman Joaquin Arias had a career-high-tying three hits to lift his average to .455, but no other Rangers player is even sniffing .200.
As a team, the Rangers are hitting .216 with 40 strikeouts and just 13 walks. Outside of Cruz's four homers, only Guerrero has gone deep.
"Things are going to start clicking for us offensively a little bit more," said first baseman Chris Davis, whose average dipped to .143 after going 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout Saturday. "You can see the at-bats are getting better, we're seeing more pitches. We'll get after them [today]."
A look at Rangers batting averages:
Elvis Andrus (.176)
Joaquin Arias (.455)
Julio Borbon (.048)
Nelson Cruz (.444)
Chris Davis (.143)
Ryan Garko (.000)
Vlad Guerrero (.474)
Josh Hamilton (.154)
Taylor Teagarden (.000)
Michael Young (.167)
David Murphy (.200)