Ian Kinsler proves he has pop to center
ARLINGTON, Texas -- There has been a running joke between Rangers manager Ron Washington and Ian Kinsler about the second baseman‘s lack of power to center field.
So when Kinsler sent a 410-foot blast over the center field wall for a home run in the seventh inning of the Rangers' 7-2 win over the Rays, waiting to congratulate him on the dugout step was Washington, wearing a wry smile and shaking his head side to side.
“It’s a joke we have. I tell him all the time he has no pop to right and no pop to center,’’ Washington said. “He’s normally a dead-pull hitter.’’
Right fielder David Murphy, while not wanting to take sides, said in the four years with the Rangers, it was only second home run he’s seen Kinsler hit to center field.
Kinsler said the inside joke with his manager has been running for five years.
“Wash calls me Bootsy. He’s the only one on the team that does,’’ Kinsler said. “And when I got back to the dugout he said, ‘Bootsy, I didn’t think you could go out that way.’ ’’
Kinsler also homered in the fifth into the more familiar left field stands for his fourth multi-homer game of the season and the 11th of his career. His 23 home runs are second on the team to the 28 of Nelson Cruz.
“I’m just trying to help the team any way I can,’’ Kinsler said.
The Rangers open a critical six-game road trip in Boston on Friday. The Rangers lead the AL West by 3 1/2 games over the Angels.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus joins Galloway & Company to discuss having Scott Boras as his agent, his new contract and having Jurickson Profar in the lineup.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.