Red-hot Cruz homers in fourth straight game

Outfielder helps power Mariners over Rockies on Monday

Red-hot Cruz homers in fourth straight game

DENVER -- One thing the Mariners have learned this year about Nelson Cruz, he tends to hit home runs in bunches. And the big right fielder is on one of those tears right now, going deep for a fourth straight game Monday in Seattle's 8-7 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field.

Cruz went 3-for-4 with a home run and a walk and continues to share the longest active hitting streak in the Majors with Jose Abreu of the White Sox at 14 games. During that span, he's batting .427 with four doubles, nine homers and 13 RBIs.

"He's been pretty consistent all year," said manager Lloyd McClendon. "But I would say the last 10 days, he's been pretty special."

Cruz has hiked his batting average back up to .321 and his 30 home runs ties him for second in the Majors behind Mike Trout's 32, but he insists none of that matters to him.

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"I just play my game every day," he said. "Whatever happens, happens. The important thing is the 'W' and that's really the only thing I care about."

Cruz has hit 23 of his 30 homers this year on the road, the most in the Majors. His latest came on a solo shot in the second on Monday on a ball he had to fight off his hands, but still managed to push over the left-center field wall, a projected 408 feet from home plate, according to Statcast™.

"It probably got in on him a little, but he put a good swing on it and he's so strong and the air here …" McClendon said.

Cruz, playing his first game at Coors Field in his 11-year career, appreciated the help.

"It does carry here," he said. "It's a great hitter's ballpark. I didn't hit it that well, but just good enough."

Cruz homered six times in a five-game span early in April when he was just starting out his first season with the Mariners, but said he feels even better in his current streak.

"I feel like my approach is better now than what it was," he said. "It's not like I'm only getting homers. I'm getting line drives and almost whatever the pitch is pitched, I can go there and get it."

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