Is Ian Kinsler the key to Rangers' offense?

June, 30, 2012
6/30/12
9:00
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The last four games, the Texas Rangers' offense has shown two extremes. On Friday, it was nearly nonexistent until the eighth inning rally that ultimately gave the Rangers a 4-3 win over the Oakland Athletics. The three previous games, the Rangers scored a combined 27 runs.

So what gives? According to David Murphy, the answer is Ian Kinsler.

"When he gets on, things just snowball," Murphy said. "I feel like Elvis [Andrus] hits better with runners on base and, obviously, Josh [Hamilton] hits better with runners on base. ... It all starts with Ian, and I think that's showed over the course of the past few games."

And the Rangers are winning because of it. Texas is 25-8 this season when Kinsler gets at least two hits in a game, including a 12-0 record in June.

"It seems to be true," Kinsler said of the Rangers' success going hand-in-hand with his success at the plate. "I try not to think about it too much. I don't want to put that pressure on me or anyone in the lineup, but it seems like when I get on base, our offense is able to do a lot more things and put more pressure on the defense.

"I'm definitely aware of it, but we have so many weapons that we're still able to win games when I do have a bad game and am not swinging the bat well."

Luckily for Texas, Kinsler's been getting plenty of hits as of late, resulting in plenty of wins for the club.

Kinsler has tallied seven multihit games in the last 13 contests, highlighted by a 4-for-5 performance Thursday.

"Baseball is a game that goes in cycles," Kinsler said. "Sometimes you can feel great at the plate and have nothing to show for it, and sometimes, you don't feel that great and find holes when the balls are falling in. You try to stay the same everyday and make sure you have a sound approach."

But Kinsler doesn't just do his damage at the plate. He creates havoc when he gets on the base paths. Just ask the Detroit Tigers. Kinsler scored from second on a bunt single in Wednesday's contest.

"That's definitely the funnest part of the game for me," Kinsler said. "I love stealing bases and trying to do whatever I can to get in scoring position for the guys behind me. It seems like they feed off that, and it gives them a situation to hit in."

It's easy to say the leadoff hitter sets the tone for the rest of the lineup, but with Kinsler, the numbers don't lie and neither do the last four games.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
10 3.06 182 144
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .325
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 67
RA. Beltre 66
OPSA. Beltre .876
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182