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Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Mitch Moreland starting to find a groove

By Richard Durrett

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mitch Moreland feels like he's getting into a rhythm now. He's still searching for consistency but feels like he's getting closer. He's been up and down the last few months, batting just .239 (37-for-155) in his last 42 games. But he's hitting .400 (8-for-20) on this road trip, including 6-for-9 in the first two games of this series against the Angels.

This time last year, Moreland still had less than a month of big league service time. He batted well down the stretch and then had a memorable postseason.

"He came up last year and went through the playoffs like he was some kind of veteran," manager Ron Washington said. "He's only in his first full year. He’s got a lot to learn. The league is making adjustments. He has to make adjustments. He's able to have his days where he goes up there and you see the Mitch Moreland you know. He just has to find that consistency."

Moreland has been working in the cages with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh on staying loose and staying patient.

"Sometimes I get a little tense with my swing, so I’m trying to stay loose," Moreland said. "I feel good. I have my good days and my bad, but for the most part it’s coming along pretty good. I’m seeing the ball better. I feel like I've put some better at-bats together. I’ve had a few walks here lately and been able to work the count and get some better pitches to hit."

Moreland has eight walks in his last 10 games and has 12 hits in his last 30 at-bats with runners in scoring position.