Mitch Moreland leads another bat assault
August, 25, 2012
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mitch Moreland admitted that he saw where his three-run home run in the second inning landed. The ball was crushed into the second deck of the Home Run Porch on a line, and Moreland couldn't help but follow the trajectory.
"I saw it. I watched it a little bit," Moreland said. "I knew I hit it pretty good."
The estimated distance was 463 feet (455 by ESPN's HR Tracker), which is the third longest home run hit at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Only Josh Hamilton's 490-foot blast against Houston on June 27, 2010, and Jose Canseco's 480-foot homer on June 13, 1994, were longer.
"It counted," Moreland said. "It went out. I'm good with that. I don't care if it went first row or the 50th."
Plenty of balls are going everywhere these days for the Rangers' hitters. After an offensive malaise in June and July, the Rangers have roared back in August. They have scored an AL-high 147 runs in August (the Angels were second with 121 runs coming into Saturday) and have 39 runs in the last four games. They are getting contributions from all over the lineup.
On Saturday, Ian Kinsler had four RBIs, including a leadoff homer. But the bottom part of the lineup delivered too. Geovany Soto was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and is 9-for-23 during his six-game hitting streak that includes at least one RBI in each game. Craig Gentry, batting eighth, was 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. And Moreland accounted for three RBIs with his second-inning home run.
Moreland was in the lineup because manager Ron Washington wanted to give him a shot againt a lefty. Mike Olt has had a nagging plantar fasciitis issue in his right heel but was available to pinch hit. Moreland took advantage of the opportunity despite being 0-for-6 with three strikeouts against starter Brian Duensing.
"In that first at-bat I saw a three-run home run and I was very happy," said Washington, whose bobblehead was given out to many of the 44,215 in attendance. "Mitch has been swinging the bat well and I gave him an opportunity today to go against a lefty and he came through in a big way."
Moreland has homered in two of his last four games and has hit safely in eight straight games, batting .379 with two doubles, two homers, 11 RBIs and four runs. It's the second longest streak of his career (his nine-game streak was May 30-June 9, 2011). But Moreland acknowledges that he's seeing an entire team effort at the plate right now that is getting results.
"We're swinging the bat real well right now," Moreland said. "As a whole, one through nine, there's really no breaks. It seems like from top to bottom we're getting it done. We're putting up runs and having big innings. It doesn't matter who's up in any situation right now, we're getting the job done."
Moreland and the rest of the Rangers' offense will try to continue the hit parade against the Twins on Sunday, going for a sweep.