Ian Kinsler is starting to lean a little more toward the right.
That tweak may just help him break out of a slump that gripped him from the second week of the season. Kinsler, always known as a straight pull hitter, is now starting to hit the ball to right field. He's getting results.
"I've been able to do that lately, and I'm starting to feel comfortable," Kinsler said. "We'll see how long I can maintain it."
At the height of the skid, pitchers were taking advantage of an overanxious Kinsler and getting him to try to pull pitches on the outer half of the plate. Lunging for the ball with an uppercut style of swing produced popups and flyballs at a high rate. Kinsler's slump reached 2-for-26 by the end of the last road trip.
After consecutive squib outs up the first base line Monday, Kinsler slammed his bat into the ground and continued taking out his frustrations on equipment behind the Rangers dugout until manager Ron Washington offered him a hug. The tantrum, combined with Washington's mood-lightning moment, seem to have broken Kinsler out of the spell.
Kinsler reached base in seven of his next 11 trips to the plate, collecting five hits and two walks. One of the hits drove in a run, breaking Kinsler's eight-game RBI drought that also included an 0-for-7 drought with runners in scoring position. He also hit the ball hard to right field several times for outs.
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