Elvis Andrus soaring in September

ARLINGTON, Texas – After stinking it up last September, Elvis Andrus is finishing this regular season strong.

In fact, Andrus’ numbers so far this month are his best of the season. He’s hitting .333 with a .473 on-base percentage and .511 slugging percentage in 12 September games, driving in eight runs and scoring 15 in that span.

Compare that to his stats from last September: .184/.253/.195 with 13 runs and only two RBIs in twice as many at-bats as he’s had so far this month.

Andrus responded to a few days of post-clinching rest with a strong postseason last year, but the Rangers need him now to fight off the Angels for the AL West title. And he’s delivering.

“I started understanding my body,” Andrus said, explaining why he feels so strong this late in the season. “The last year, I really learned how to adapt my body for the whole season.”

That’s meant some pretty simple changes, such as making sure he gets enough sleep, drinks enough water and eats breakfast every day. As a result, he’s been able to keep his weight and energy up.

And Andrus admits that he’s much tougher mentally now than a year ago. That, in the opinion of manager Ron Washington, is the primary reason for his spectacular September.

“He knows now that fatigue can’t come into play,” Washington said. “He was dead tired in September last year, and he learned that it’s mind over matter. My mind, and fatigue don’t matter. He’s grown.”