Getting on hot streaks at the plate is something Nelson Cruz has done his entire career.

He opened the 2011 season with home runs in the first four games. In 2010, he hit .340 in July and had six homers the final month of the season. And nobody can forget the six-homer, 13-RBI performance during the 2011 ALCS vs. Detroit.

Cruz is in the midst of another one of those streaks. He went 4 for 11 with two home runs and seven RBIs in three games against the Los Angeles Angels, and had an RBI single off the right-field wall to bring in the Rangers’ first run against the Twins on Thursday.

The reason for his recent success?

“I don’t know the exact reason, but I prepared well this off-season by playing winter ball and in the WBC,” Cruz said. “It’s just nice to be able to produce when the team needs you.”

Manager Ron Washington wasted no time revealing the key for Cruz’s success. Washington has said it countless times, but reiterated once again that Cruz is at his best when he keeps the ball in the big part of the field.

“I keep reminding him that’s where he does his best damage,” Washington said. “All I hope is he keeps coming up big.”