The Baltimore Orioles‘ 2014 has been a roller coaster ride and we’re not even through the first month of the season. Wednesday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays was destined to be a disaster until Nelson Cruz stepped to the plate in the fifth inning.
Chris Davis launched a homer in the first inning and all was well in Baltimore, then the Blue Jays scored six times in the second inning and the entire city of Baltimore was flooded in tears, or so I heard. But then, Nelson Cruz turned those tears of despair into tears of joy. With the bases loaded and nobody out, the power-hitter stepped to the plate and launched a grand slam into the upper deck of the Rogers Centre in the fifth inning to put the Orioles ahead 7-6. Baltimore would not relinquish the lead, getting back to .500 on the season.
Nelson Cruz was a late signing in the offseason for Dan Duquette and the Orioles couldn’t be happier with the return they’ve gotten on their investment thus far. Cruz was signed to a one-year deal worth $8 million and he’s been worth every penny.
So far this season Cruz has hit .301 with six home runs and 21 RBIs, he’s starting this year off the way that Chris Davis started 2013 off. With a bang. While he likely won’t blast 50+ home runs like Davis did last season, Cruz is helping to carry the offense through the cold of April.
Without Cruz the Orioles likely wouldn’t be 10-10. They might be closer to 7-13 and then there would be real concern in Baltimore. The Orioles are still in the thick of things in the AL East and that’s in large part thanks to Cruz and his monster start.