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Mariners Noon Number: Nelson Cruz powers M’s through successful road trip

Seattle Mariners’ Nelson Cruz celebrates a solo home run during the second inning against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners’ Nelson Cruz celebrates a solo home run during the second inning against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

Nelson Cruz hit two home runs and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Wednesday to at least momentarily put the Mariners into the lead in the race for the second wildcard spot.

It was Cruz’ 26th of the season and his second multi-homer game of the season and 23rd of his career. Cruz is batting .400 with six HRs and 12 RBI in his last nine games to power the M’s to a 6-3 road trip through Texas, Kansas City and Oakland.

Mariners Log: Nelson Cruz hits pair of homers and M’s cruise past A’s

Nelson Cruz homered twice and the Seattle Mariners cruised to a 6-3 win over the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday, sweeping the abbreviated two-game series. | Read more »

The Mariners now return home for their only August homestand, a seven-game set against the Angels and Orioles.

Cruz went through a late-July funk where he hit .140/.224/.140 over an 11-game stretch with no homers or extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances, strangely coinciding with the M’s last homestand.

Once back out on the road though, he went gangbusters. For the M’s sake, they hope it’s a harbinger as they finish August on a 12-game, 13-day road trip through Tampa Bay, Atlanta, New York Yankees and Baltimore.

Cruz leads the American League in RBIs and is poised to put up another 40-home season. Now 37, he has one more year on what was a four-year, $57 million contract that, barring a complete breakdown next season, will go down as one of the best mulit-year deals the Mariners have ever given out.

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