SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Nelson Cruz didn’t want to risk it.Cruz felt pressure in his chest for two-and-a-half hours late Thursday night and went to an area hospital for evaluation. He underwent a battery of tests and all came back negative, allowing Cruz to breathe a sigh of relief.“Oh yeah,” Cruz said. “It’s something you always want to be careful about and you don’t want to take anything for granted.”Officially, Cruz had a muscle strain in his chest region but it sidelined him only one day.Cruz was back in the lineup Saturday against the D-backs, batting fourth and playing right field. He went 2 for 4 with an RBI single in his final game with the Rangers before departing for Florida today to join the Dominican Republic team for the World Baseball Classic.Depending on how far the Dominican team advances, Cruz might not be back in camp until March 20.Coincidentally, another issue Cruz is dealing with came up a few hundred feet away during the game. MLB commissioner Bud Selig had a news conference at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, and announced his desire to have stiffer penalties for players who use performance-enhancing drugs.Selig hopes MLB and the players’ union work “expeditiously” to make changes, which could affect Cruz, who is involved in an ongoing MLB investigation.Cruz is one of several big leaguers who reportedly purchased banned substances from an anti-aging clinic in the Miami area, allegations Cruz has denied. But if Cruz is found guilty by MLB and the stiffer penalties have been agreed upon, he could be subject to an even harsher penalty than the current 50-game suspension for a first-time offense.Selig offered no update on the investigation, describing it only as “ongoing and very thorough.”Second actJustin Grimm would have liked to make a better first impression this spring.He allowed three runs on four hits over two innings in his debut against the Colorado Rockies last Monday, and is back on the mound today against the Seattle Mariners.“I think it’s a simple adjustment to just getting the ball down,” Grimm said. “It’s not a matter of stuff. It’s simply getting the ball down and going after hitters.”Grimm is competing for the fifth spot in the Rangers’ rotation, but also knows there are open spots in the bullpen. He pitched in a relief role late last season and could be a candidate as a long reliever.But Ron Washington warned there would be more involved with that type of decision.“When you talk about guys like Grimm, they’re young and they need to pitch,” Washington said. “And they are our rotation depth. The discussion goes a little deeper than just the fact that this guy can throw out of the bullpen.”Fundamental gameThe Rangers struggled to score with a runner on third and less than two outs last season, but are showing signs of improvement in that department early this spring.In the first inning Saturday, A.J. Pierzynski came through with a sacrifice fly to score Mitch Moreland from third with one out.“The fundamentals is something we’re emphasizing and each time we don’t get something done, everyone hears about it either from us or the players,” Ron Washington said. “The good thing we’ve done this spring is we’ve gotten everyone involved and they know what has to be done.”Briefly• The Rangers announced they sold 104,530 tickets Saturday, the first day single-game tickets went on sale. That is nearly 3,000 more than the team sold on the first day of 2012. The ticket office at Rangers Ballpark will be open today from noon to 4 p.m. Fans should note that the ticket office will move from the first base side to the third base side on Monday as the first base office undergoes construction. Tickets can also be purchased at texasrangers.com or by calling 972-726-4377.• Adrian Beltre, slowed by right calf inflammation, is getting closer to making his spring debut. He could play as early as Monday, but Ron Washington said a date has not been set in stone.• Outfielder Engel Beltre (left shoulder soreness) is expected to join Team Spain early next week. Beltre went through a full workout Friday and is scheduled to play today. He will likely play one more game after today and then join Spain’s camp.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison