Reaction: Ian Kinsler homers vs. Diamondbacks

March, 17, 2012
3/17/12
6:59
PM CT


SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler thought he took strike three in the sixth inning.

Home plate umpire Angel Campos called the fourth pitch a ball though. On the next toss from David Hernandez, Kinsler blasted it to left-center for a two-run homer during the Texas Rangers 8-6 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Kinsler is 7-for-10 with four RBIs in the last three games, including a 3-for-4 performance Saturday, since returning from mild stiffness in his lower back.

[+] EnlargeIan Kinsler
Jake Roth/US PresswireIan Kinsler was 3-for-4 with a home run Saturday against the Diamondbacks.
"I’m still fighting some things but it’s what goes on every spring training," Kinsler said. "Everyone’s bodies is trying to adjust right now, and I’m just trying to make sure I stay healthy regardless of the result."

Kinsler has worked on refining his swing since he returned so he can be ready to go on Opening Day.

"Right now, I’m not too worried about the overall offense chemistry right now because we know what we have," Kinsler said. "It’s selfish time and it’s time to worry about yourself and time to get ready for the season."

Even as he attempts to play selfishly, Kinsler still finds ways to help his team.

He led the lineup to a fast start in the first inning, driving a double to center field on a full count. It was the first of three consecutive hits for the Rangers during their three-run inning.

Kinsler picked up his second double in the second inning with two outs, sparking another three-run inning.

"That’s Kinsler," bench coach Jackie Moore said. "You can see him getting into his groove now and he’s feeling good about himself. It’s not unexpected."

Other notes:

Feldman's start: It doesn't look pretty in the box score, but pitcher Scott Feldman was pleased with his start. He allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Four of those runs came in the fifth inning during Feldman's longest outing this spring. It appeared arm fatigue came into play as he threw 75 pitches Saturday.

"It was good for the first time going out there and throwing that many pitches," Feldman said. "It’ll probably be sore tomorrow but everything else is pretty good."

Feldman was dealing to start the game. A triple from outfielder Jason Kubel was the only hit Feldman allowed after three innings. Feldman pounded the strike zone and picked up five strikeouts in the game. He struck out third baseman Ryan Roberts with his changeup to end the third inning.

"I wanted to throw a lot of changeups and felt pretty comfortable with it," Feldman said. "It’s gotten a lot better as spring has gone on."

Kubel got him again during his second at-bat. He launched a 1-1 changeup deep to right field. It hit the top of the home run party deck tent.

Feldman was scheduled to pitch five innings, but after he gave up his fourth hit in the fifth inning -- a double to outfielder Justin Upton -- he was pulled.

"That last inning, he got a little tired, but I thought it was an outstanding job," Moore said.

Uehara allows HR Koji Uehara pitched in relief and gave up a home run against his first batter. Kubel launched the two run-homer to left center field. Uehara gave up four hits in 1 1/3 innings

Uehara walked outfielder Chris Young but threw him out at first base to close the fifth. He allowed two more runs in the sixth.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Pedro Figueroa
WINS ERA SO IP
2 4.50 2 8
OTHER LEADERS
BAE. Andrus .302
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 9
OPSS. Choo .830
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23