Nelson Cruz leaves early with injury

Updated: October 21, 2010, 4:33 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

NEW YORK -- Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz said he will be fine for Game 6 of the American League Championship Series after leaving Wednesday's Game 5 in the fifth inning because of his troublesome left hamstring.

The team reported that Cruz felt tightness in the hamstring, which landed him on the disabled list twice this season. He also had a DL stint because of his right hamstring. The Rangers said Cruz is day-to-day.

After the game, Cruz said he was removed as a precaution with his team down early by five runs and the temperature dropping on a cool evening. The New York Yankees' 7-2 victory kept the series going, with Game 6 in Arlington on Friday night and the Rangers with a 3-2 advantage.

"I will be able to play Friday," he said. "They take extra precaution to make sure I am ready for Friday. The doctors saw me and they say I am fine."

The Yankees held a 5-1 lead when David Murphy replaced Cruz in left field to start the bottom of the fifth inning.

Cruz said he wasn't sure when he first felt the tightness in his hamstring, but it may have been when he made a throw to the plate in the second inning.

Cruz doubled in his last at-bat in the top of the fourth inning and was slow to get to Jorge Posada's double down the left-field line in the bottom of the inning. Cruz said the hamstring didn't bother him on either play.

Cruz was limited to 108 regular-season games because of his hamstring problems.

The Rangers' No. 5 hitter is having a solid postseason, batting .371 with four home runs and six RBIs. In the ALCS, he has five hits in 17 at-bats with a home run in Game 4 and three RBIs.

In Tuesday's Game 4, the Yankees lost first baseman Mark Teixeira for the remainder of the playoffs with a strained right hamstring.

Jeff Caplan covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his mailbag.

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