Cruz's 'boomstick' paying off for LoMo

Cruz's 'boomstick' paying off for LoMo

ANAHEIM -- Nelson Cruz has done it all for the Mariners over the first 26 games of the season with his new club. The big man hit his 14th home run in Monday's 3-2 victory over the Angels. He doubled off Mike Trout at first base with a laser throw. And, yeah, now he's even got Logan Morrison untracked by loaning him one of his bats.

It's one thing to have the hottest stick in the big leagues, with Cruz retaining his Major League lead in home runs as well as RBIs with 26 after blasting his fourth homer in the last four days. But now he's sharing his weapons with teammates and that, too, is paying off.

"I've got a boomstick," Morrison said after crushing his third homer in the past four games in the same seventh inning that Cruz unloaded off Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker. "I started using that when I had a four-hit game in Texas [last week]. So I thought, well, I guess I'm going to be using this bat for the rest of the year."

LoMo's solo shot

Since borrowing the boomstick, Morrison has gone 10-for-23 with three homers, a triple and six RBIs while raising his batting average from .149 to .222 with a six-game hitting streak.

"Whatever he needs," Cruz said with a smile. "He asked me if I had a bat, so I gave it to him. He's used it for a while now, so it's good."

Bats for everyone in the clubhouse?

"Willie asked me for one," Cruz said of veteran utility infielder Willie Bloomquist. "I've got some small ones, too."

Nobody could be blamed for trying to steal some of Cruz's thunder. His 14 home runs match the most by any Major League player in the first 26 games of a season, a feat previously accomplished by Cy Williams (1923 Phillies), Mike Schmidt (1976 Phillies), Albert Pujols (2006 Cardinals) and Alex Rodriguez (2007 Yankees).

And for good measure on Monday, he unleashed a strong throw from the right-field line to double off Trout, who was going on a hit-and-run by Pujols in the sixth in a tie game.

Cruz doubles up Trout

"He's doing everything," said Felix Hernandez, who appreciated the help in improving his record to 5-0 for the first time in his career. "He's a great player all-around. I'm happy he's on our side."

For Cruz, it's been quite an early run for his new team. Though the Mariners are just 11-15, he's supplied a daily highlight reel. Monday's blast broke a scoreless tie -- with Shoemaker carrying a one-hit shutout at the time -- and was measured at 429 feet by Statcast™.

It came on the day he was honored with his first American League Player of the Month Award after hitting 10 homers in April. Now he's already cranked out four more in the first four games of May.

"I guess I've found a way to stay more consistent," Cruz said, trying to explain the extended streak. "That's the key, trying to find a way to get it done every day. And I've found a way to keep it going for a month now."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.