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Elvis Andrus trying to find rhythm at plate

4/17/2011

NEW YORK -- Elvis Andrus has good memories of Yankee Stadium. He was a big contributor in the club's ALCS wins here, including a 3-for-5 effort in Game 4, which gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead in the series.

But he arrived in New York this weekend in the middle of some struggles at the plate. He's hitting .174 on the season, the lowest batting average of any Rangers' starter. And on this road trip, he's 3-for-26 (.115).

Andrus had a hit on Saturday to drive in a run in the eighth, ending a hitless streak at 11 trips to the plate.

"I'm trying to work on shooting the ball up the middle," Andrus said. "I don't want to cut my swing. I just want to get my hands free. [Saturday] that felt good. I just had one hit, but I hit the ball pretty good a couple of times and that's what I'm looking for."

Andrus said it was the first time in a handful of games where he felt comfortable in the box the whole game.

"I think it feels like I got more from each at-bat," Andrus said. "It's just two weeks in the season. You have to be patient and keep working hard. It's a long season. You can't get frustrated. You want to do better. But I know how long a season this is. You're going to have slumps andyou're going to have good at-bats. I'll keep working hard and the hits will fall."

Andrus said part of what he's learned the past few seasons is that it's critical to separate what he's doing on offense with what he's doing on defense.

"I'm trying to get better at that every year," Andrus said. "If I have a bad at-bat, I can get mad, but then when I go on defense I don't think about it anymore.

Andrus faces CC Sabathia in tonight's game. The shortstop is 0-for-2 with a strikeout against him.