Sunday, August 7, 2011
Ian Kinsler gets some better results
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers catcher Mike Napoli senses second baseman Ian Kinsler is ready to snap out of his recent slump. He cites Saturday's game and Kinsler's batting practice sessions as proof.
"I've watched him in batting practice this week and he's hitting the ball the other way and on a line," Napoli said. "He's hit some balls right at people in games. But he's working hard and he's still making things happen."
Kinsler did that in Saturday's 7-5 loss to the Indians. With the Rangers down 3-1 in the seventh, he came up with runners on second and third and nobody out and delivered a hard single to center, scoring both runs to tie the score. That made Kinsler the go-ahead run at first base with still no outs in the inning. He got aggressive, stealing second just barely ahead of the tag (replays showed it was as close to a "tie" as you can get).
Kinsler then appeared to surprise Fausto Carmona by not stopping on his way to third when Elvis Andrus hit a chopper back to the mound. Carmona gloved it, looked at Kinsler and may have expected him to stop and try to start some sort of rundown. But Kinsler chugged onto third and Carmona never threw over there, instead getting Andrus at first. That put Kinsler at third with one out, and he scored on Josh Hamilton's fly ball to give the Rangers the lead.
Kinsler was just 3-for-42 in his last 10 games before that two-RBI single in the seventh. But he hasn't let the slump impact his defense as he continues to make solid plays at second.
The question now is if last night's single in a big spot can be the hit he needs to get him going again.