09/11/10 7:36 PM ET
Oliver amused by historical oddity
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Cruz ties record with Friday's walk-off
ARLINGTON -- Nelson Cruz created a little history on Friday night.His game-winning home run off Yankees pitcher Chad Gaudin was not only his third walk-off blast of the season, but also his fifth extra-innings home run. That ties him with Charlie Maxwell for the most extra-innings home runs in a season in Major League history. Maxwell, an outfielder, had five for the Tigers in 1960. Cruz's three walk-off home runs are also the most ever in one season in Rangers history. "It's special," Cruz said. "It's special when you're in that situation and your team is going good like we are. Every play is important and every home run is big. That's what's so fun." All three of Cruz's walk-off home runs this season have come in extra innings. He hit one in the 10th inning on July 27 against Oakland and in the 11th inning on Aug. 13 against Boston. No other Ranger had more than two walk-off home runs in a season. The last American League player to have that many in a season was Justin Morneau in 2007. Jim Thome had four for Cleveland in '01. Cruz also had an eighth-inning home run on Friday night to send the game into extra innings. He is the first player this season to hit a homer that sent a game into extra innings and then hit a walk-off shot after that. Also, his last two walk-off home runs have come on the first pitch of the at-bat as did his homer in the eighth inning on Friday. "I just try to stay calm in those situations," Cruz said. "I just try to focus. I go up there with the mindset that I have to do something right there for my team." The three walk-off blasts are a Rangers record, but not a personal record for Cruz. He said he hit four walk-off home runs in the Minor Leagues in 2005 while in the Brewers' organization.
Rangers observe 9-11 with National Guard
ARLINGTON -- Members of B-Company of the 2-142 Infantry Battalion of the Texas Army National Guard were at the Ballpark in Arlington this weekend to help the Rangers in their observance of Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.The unit is partnering with and observing the security and medical personnel from the City of Arlington and the Rangers as those individuals perform their responsibilities during the normal game-day operations at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. This will include areas such as medical response, crowd control, security operations and traffic management. "This is an important exercise that will allow the personnel from the Texas Army National Guard to train and observe in the area of emergency response during a large scale public gathering," said Rangers executive vice president of Ballpark operations Rob Matwick. "Fans will see members of the military in uniform working side-by-side with our regular game-day personnel. The Rangers are very pleased to be involved in this weekend's training exercise." The unit also participated in pregame ceremonies on Saturday, including unfurling a giant American flag in center field. Members of the Arlington Police Department and Grapevine Fire Department displayed the colors for the national anthem and the Rangers wore their white caps used on special national holidays.
Former President George W. Bush was in attendance on Saturday night.
Rangers pitchers threw 264 pitches on Friday night, fourth most since 1988. ... Catcher Bengie Molina called all those pitches and was off on Saturday. Matt Treanor was the Rangers catcher, but manager Ron Washington said that was planned anyway. ... Julio Borbon leads the Rangers with eight RBIs in September after driving in four combined in July and August.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.