SEATTLE – When asked about the run he scored in the first inning, Ian Kinsler was quick to point out it wasn’t an individual effort.
“We created a run,” Kinsler corrected a reporter.
The Rangers' offense knows it’s not performing at a level it’s capable of reaching, but it still found ways to get the job done in Sunday’s 4-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Kinsler turned a leadoff walk into a run with the help of his teammates who oddly enough didn’t record a hit to advance the second baseman. Kinsler reached second on a passed ball and advanced on consecutive groundouts from Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton, who picked up the RBI.
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen execution,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said of the first inning. “Execution can deliver a run, and that’s what we did.”
Beltre drive in two runs with a single to left field. Following one of the best hitters in baseball gives Beltre situations to make pitchers pay when they intentionally walk Hamilton.
“I want that challenge,” Beltre said. “I don’t blame teams for doing it, but I welcome the challenge, and I like it.”
Kinsler was frustrated with himself during his second at-bat against Iwakuma. He popped up to second base on a slider in the third.
Kinsler didn't make the same mistake when he came up in the fifth inning. Iwakuma started off with an off-speed pitch, which Kinsler sent to left field for his 10th home run this season. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk.
“I wanted to make sure it was a good pitch and he gave it to me on the first pitch,” Kinsler said.
There wasn’t an explosive inning or collection of innings on display from the Rangers in a tough park for hitters, but Washington said the lineup is due at some point. He’s not going to complain as long the runs scored are enough to win the game.
“I know our offense has more to give us but it’s about winning, and that’s where the pitching and the defense comes in,” Washington said. “If we can do that every day, we’ll be fine.”