After striking out with the bases loaded in the eighth -- when Seattle scored three times to pull within a run -- Cruz came up with the bases full and two outs in the ninth. Austin Jackson had already tied the game with a single, and Texas closer Neftali Feliz -- who had fanned Cruz an inning earlier -- intentionally walked Robinson Cano to bring up Cruz. With the count even at 2-2, Cruz grounded a single to left field to score Seth Smith with the winning run.
"When you hit homers you've got to forget about what you do that at-bat. If you strike out three times, I have to forget what happened the previous at-bat," Cruz said. "That's the beauty about baseball, you've got the chance to do damage every time."
The Mariners signed Cruz to provide power in the middle of the lineup. If there was any doubt Cruz could live up to those expectations -- which there shouldn't have been -- the slugger answered them in his first two at-bats Sunday afternoon.
Cruz hit home runs in his first two trips to the plate against Texas Rangers pitcher Ross Detwiler. His second, a towering shot to left in the third, gave him 13 RBIs this season.
It is the second time this season Cruz, who leads the Majors in home runs, has hit two in one game. He also accomplished the feat on April 13 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The previous two-homer game came during a streak of five straight contests in which he went long.
He has hit eight home runs this season, the most home runs a player has hit in his team's first 12 games since Alex Rodriguez also hit eight in 2007 for the Yankees.
Josh Liebeskind is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.