Ian Kinsler credits 'calm confidence'
August, 9, 2011
By Randy Jennings | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ian Kinsler describes it as calm confidence.
That’s the feeling the Rangers have these days when trailing.
“We have a lot of confidence in ourselves, in our team,’’ said Kinsler in the aftermath of Texas’ 7-6 win over Seattle on Tuesday night at Rangers Ballpark.
The Rangers’ second baseman hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning that cut the deficit to a run and scored the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth on Josh Hamilton’s walk-off single to left-center field.
The game's concluding play left teammates with a problem. Should they mob Kinsler at the plate as he scored the winning run or Hamilton at first base after his hit. It was 50-50 at first, but eventually everybody wound up in a dogpile around Hamilton.
A rare poor start by Alexi Ogando contributed to Seattle’s 6-3 lead after three innings. The new-look Rangers bullpen held the line, setting the stage for yet another comeback in the late innings.
“It wasn’t a normal outing for Ogando,’’ Kinsler said. “I’m sure our bullpen wasn’t ready for something like that, but they did the job. That’s an area of our team that has really improved and tonight it gave us a chance to come back.’’
Mike Adams, acquired 10 days ago from San Diego, was one of five Texas relievers to throw scoreless baseball.
“Coming from a team that was 20 games under .500 to this has been huge,’’ Adams said. “These guys show a lot of heart. I’ve seen a lot of different guys come through in the few games I’ve been here. Josh Hamilton was the MVP last year, but a lot of guys on this team look like MVPs to me.’’
Previously in a three-game weekend series with Cleveland, the Rangers overcame a 7-2 deficit on Friday in an 8-7, 11-inning win and followed it up by rallying from a 3-0 deficit on Sunday with a five-run eighth inning in a 5-3 win.
In a 7-5 Saturday loss to the Tribe, the Rangers overcame a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead into the ninth before losing.
Texas kept pace with the Angels, who also won with a ninth-inning rally, beating the Yankees, 6-4. Texas' lead remains 1 1/2 games.
"We're just concentrating on ourselves,'' Kinsler said.