NEW YORK (AP) — Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz left Game 5 of the AL championship series Wednesday with tightness in his troublesome left hamstring, though he said it was merely a precaution and he expects to play in Game 6.

“It’s just tightness,” Cruz said after the Rangers’ 7-2 loss. “It’s nothing that’s making me unsure about playing Friday.”

Cruz was replaced in left field by David Murphy in the bottom of the fifth inning against the New York Yankees.

Cruz, who also had a productive season when healthy, has been one of Texas’ best hitters this month.

The slugger missed 51 games this year due to hamstring injuries that landed him on the disabled list three times. The last two were left hamstring strains, including his latest DL stint in August.

Cruz is batting .378 with four homers, five doubles and six RBIs in the playoffs. He said he thought he tweaked his hamstring when he charged hard on Posada’s RBI single and made a strong throw to the plate that was a little wide.

“The other time was kind of worse,” Cruz said. “I don’t feel it right now. I should be good to go on Friday.”

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.