Ron Washington has always stressed playing the game in the right way, doing all the little things that could potentially have a huge impact on a game, and this approach came into play on Monday night when Texas turned what might have been an inside the park home run into a big out.
Because Nelson Cruz was backing up Craig Gentry when Gentry dove for a line drive off the bat of Brendan Ryan, he was able to get the ball into Ian Kinsler, who hit Mike Napoli on the relay. Napoli blocked the plate and applied the tag, preventing Seattle to pulling within a run of Texas.
It was a fine play by all three involved, but as Washington told reporters after the 4-2 win, it all started with Cruz making the effort to back-up Gentry.
"The play was really made by Nelson Cruz," Washington said, per ESPN Dallas. "He backed up that play when Gentry dove for that ball. He hit Kinsler with a strike, and Kinsler made a tremendous relay throw and Mike blocked the plate.
“Nelson Cruz is the one who saved that run by backing up. He could have been watching what was going on but instead he got where he was supposed to be and made the play. He hit the cutoff man and the cutoff man did what he had to do.”