Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/14/12

When the Los Angeles Dodgers promoted Luis Cruz on July 2, not much was expected. After all, the 28-year-old journeyman with 4,891 minor league plate appearances hadn't played in the majors since 2010.

Cruz was expected to provide the club a reserve infielder who could play multiple positions and a true backup shortstop to Dee Gordon. But when Gordon dislocated his thumb two days later, Cruz suddenly was thrust into starting duty.

Cruz has provided steady play, starting 31 of 37 games since getting promoted. He started 23 games at shortstop, then moved to third base after the acquisition of Hanley Ramirez.

Tuesday night, Cruz filled in at second base for Mark Ellis and had a career night. Cruz, who played for the Pirates in parts of 2008 and 2009, matched career highs with three hits and three RBI in an 11-0 win over the Pirates. Cruz had nearly as many RBI as the five he had in his 49 career games with Pittsburgh.

Cruz is hitting .270 with a .417 slugging percentage with the Dodgers, and he already has more extra-base hits (13) in 33 games than his predecessor, Gordon, in 78 games (12). Cruz is hitting .371 with runners in scoring position, and his 22 RBI are the most on the team since his July 2 promotion.

"Whenever I get in those situations, I just take a deep breath and try to concentrate and get a good pitch to hit," Cruz said.

Not bad for a 28-year-old journeyman getting his first extended big-league playing time.

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