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Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Ian Kinsler hoping to build momentum

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler doesn't have any idea why his numbers are so much better at home as opposed to the road.

"I've always been better at home than on the road," Kinsler said. "I think a lot of hitters naturally are because they're more comfortable at home. There's no stadium that I've hit in that I can point a finger at and say that I really struggle at or that I haven't had success at a place in the American League that I've gone to this season. I don't know what to say. It's the way it's going right now. It's a different year and I'm going to try and grind through it and turn things around on the road."

Maybe some hits at home could actually help that. Kinsler was 1-for-22 on the last road trip, including a hitless streak of 20 at-bats. So just getting a three-hit game on Monday followed by a 2-for-4 performance with two solid hits up the middle on Tuesday could help him build some momentum.

Kinsler's splits are pretty striking. He's hitting just .123 on the road with one homer and 10 RBIs. At home, he's batting .333 (40-for-120) with six homers and 13 RBIs.

One thing Kinsler has done consistently in every stadium is get on base. Despite the struggling batting average, Kinsler has managed to get on base and score runs. He has one more walk (17) than strikeouts on the road and has 21 walks at home to just 10 strikeouts. Kinsler leads the team in walks (38) and runs scored (40).

"I feel like I'm the type of player that can make something happen that can change a game," Kinsler said. "Whether I hit or not and obviously if you look at my numbers, they're not where they should be. But as far runs scored, getting on base, stolen bases, helping this team anyway that I can, producing runs, I'm having fun and we're winning games. I'm happy with where our team is at. I'm going to keep playing hard and hopefully the number thing gets better and go from there."

Manager Ron Washington was pleased most with how Kinsler took the ball to the opposite field and up the middle on Monday.

"I think everybody in the American League knows that if you get in on him, he can hurt you," Washington said. "I think once he starts using the other part of the field with more consistency and straight away center field with more consistency, it's going to get some balls in --and then the damage starts."

Kinsler continues to work on his bat path, trying to flatten it out. And he believes it will come around to a more consistent rate.

"You just continue to play," Kinsler said. "Baseball is such a great game that you have the opportunity to help your team every single day. And yeah it's frustrating at times but there's different ways to score runs. As long as I continue scoring runs and help this team win games -- doing something defensively, stealing a base, whatever it takes, the frustration is definitely not as hot when we win games."