Kinsler, Cruz carve out slice of history with jacks

Kinsler, Cruz carve out slice of history with jacks

Kinsler, Cruz carve out slice of history with jacks
ARLINGTON -- Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz continue to get off to a terrific start for the Rangers and are now making Major League history.

Kinsler and Cruz both hit home runs again on Sunday, becoming the first pair of teammates to ever hit homers in each of their team's first three games of the season. The Rangers hit four total on Sunday against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.

"It's pretty special," Kinsler said. "I don't know anything about it ... I'm not trying to do it, but right now we're getting lucky ... we're getting good pitches to hit. It's pretty fun."

Kinsler and Cruz hit six of the 11 home runs delivered by the Rangers during the three-game series. Mike Napoli had two, including one on Sunday, and David Murphy, Adrian Beltre and Yorvit Torrealba each hit one.

"I don't think these guys missed a mistake pitch in 27 innings," Buchholz said.

The 11 home runs are the most ever for the first three games of season by the Rangers. They hit eight over three games to begin the 1993 and 2000 seasons. It's also the most ever given up by the Red Sox in their first three games of a season.

"We went after them with our strengths," Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "I don't think anyone regrets any pitch they threw, and I don't regret calling any pitch. We went after them. They're a good hitting team. All those guys are locked in. They got some hits on some good pitches, and we left some good pitches over the middle."

This is not new territory for Cruz. He clubbed seven home runs in the Rangers' first 11 games last season and was off to a torrid start until he was hit by the beginning of his hamstring troubles.

But Sunday's blast was memorable. With a jet stream blowing hard to right field, Cruz hit one into the upper deck of the Home Run Porch. He is just the second right-handed hitter to reach the upper deck in the history of the Ballpark in Arlington, according to research by the Rangers public relations staff. Chad Curtis did so in 2000.

"Buchholz was throwing the ball well, but he put one over the middle of the plate and I hit it well," Cruz said.

Kinsler has always been able to hit the ball out of the ballpark. But this burst of power comes at a time when he is settling into his new role as leadoff hitter. He is trying to focus on all of those things that role entails, and making history with the long ball is not high on that list.

"I'm just trying to have good at-bats and set the tone ... single, walk, home run, whatever it may be," Kinsler said. "With the home run you need a little luck, unless you are Babe Ruth or Albert Pujols. I'm just putting good swings on balls that are over the plate."

Only once before has a Rangers player ever hit a home run in the first three games of the season. Dean Palmer did it in 1992 and Frank Howard did it for the Washington Senators in 1969 before the franchise moved to Texas. Mark Teixeira did it with the Yankees this season.

But never before in Major League history have two teammates done it together. Until now.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.