In a classic case of “He said-She said,” the Kansas City Royals maintain that Louis Coleman didn’t drill Nelson Cruz on purpose in the ninth inning of an 8-4 Rangers victory on Monday afternoon, but Cruz isn’t buying what Kansas City is selling. The Rangers’ power-hitting outfielder went so far as to say that he was sure the Royals threw at him following the game.
“I know they hit me on purpose,” Cruz said, per ESPN Dallas. “They can say whatever they want. If you’ve played the game as long as I have, you know when it’s on purpose.”
For whatever it’s worth, Cruz did seem to admire the home run he hit off Royals’ starter Bruce Chen in the sixth inning for a good while, prompting some to theorize that the Coleman pitch was in retaliation. Regardless of intent, Cruz found himself in a shouting match with Kansas City catcher (and Cruz’s Dominican Winter League teammate) Bryan Pena as a result of the plunking and benches cleared, but no one was tossed and cooler heads prevailed pretty quickly.
“I got mad at him (Pena) because he lied to my face,” Cruz said.