Martin steals home run away from good friend Cruz
Center fielder makes leaping catch over fence to rob ex-teammate
BALTIMORE -- Orioles outfielder Nelson Cruz went into Wednesday's games tied for the American League lead in home runs but a good friend stole one from him at Camden Yards.
A terrific catch by Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin means one less home run for Cruz. The play took place with Cruz leading off the second inning of Wednesday's game against Rangers starter Miles Mikolas.
Cruz hit a long drive to deep center that was headed for the Orioles bullpen. But Martin got back to the wall and made a leaping catch to steal the home run. Martin was two to three feet extended above the wall when he made the catch.
"I never lost the ball," Martin said. "I knew where I was. I followed the ball, got to the wall and made a big jump."
Cruz was a mentor to Martin during their time together with the Rangers and their lockers were in close proximity in the Arlington home clubhouse. Cruz stopped between first and second after seeing the catch. He pointed at Martin and smiled for a moment before returning to the Orioles dugout.
"We text, so I told him congrats on the good catch," Cruz said. "Hopefully he can enjoy it for a while."
"That's my boy," Martin said. "I know that's my boy. But it's a ballgame and I am trying to do the best for my team."
Cruz did have one postgame suggestion for Martin.
"He should've let it go," Cruz said.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com 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.