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Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Elvis Andrus vows to slide feet first now

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- As Elvis Andrus hustled toward second base on his way to a double in the fifth inning, he heard first-base coach Gary Pettis yell at him to slide feet first.

Andrus didn't process the instructions in time, sliding headfirst and slamming his sore left wrist into the bag. He was slow to get up and athletic trainer Jamie Reed and manager Ron Washington came out to check on him. Andrus stayed in the game and said he was fine afterward. But at that moment, he vowed not to slide headfirst -- at least for now.

"I have to maintain that [sliding feet first]," Andrus said. "It scared me a little bit. Every time I hit the ground, it's going to hurt a little bit."

Andrus had the wrist wrapped with ice after Wednesday's game, one of his best offensive nights of the season. He came into the game hitless in his last 15 at-bats and ended that in the third inning on what was first scored an error on the pitcher on a line drive and later changed to a hit. Andrus added three more hits, including two doubles, to go 4-for-4. That tied a career-high, done six times.

"He was due, too," manager Ron Washington said. "He swung the bat extremely well tonight. When he stays in the middle of the field, he's good and he stayed in the middle of the field tonight and let his hands work. He ended up catching the left-center field gap twice, which is good, and then he stayed up the middle.

"When Elvis stays in the middle of the field, he's dangerous. Just sometimes he goes and is feeling good and tries to do more."

Andrus hurt his left wrist last week on a headfirst slide and said he was going to alter his slides because of it. But his instincts have taken over and he's made some headfirst slides. He's vowed to quit doing that now to guard against further injury to the wrist.