ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Ian Kinsler joined an exclusive club for the second time Tuesday, becoming just the 12th player with multiple seasons of at least 30 homers and 30 stolen bases. But it was the two runs he scored, pushing his total to a 120 on the season, that mattered more to Kinsler.
"It impacts the team way more; it helps the team way more," Kinsler said. "I can steal a base and end up not scoring a run. It's about scoring runs, especially when you're hitting in the leadoff spot. The guys behind me, they make it easy to score 120 runs. Elvis [Andrus] has been great with the bat all year, moving me around the bases. And you've got Mike [Young], Josh [Hamilton] and Adrian [Beltre]. If I can get on base and figure out a way to get into scoring position, it seems like I have a pretty easy time scoring."
Still, Kinsler understood the significance of getting back to that 30-30 level, something he also did in 2009. It's not easy to do and he did it with a huge September, admitting that it was "unexpected."
Kinsler has hit 11 homers in September to get over 30 and he's been steadily stealing bases. He got No. 30 in the fourth inning when he stole third base (and made it without a throw). The dugout erupted into cheers and then gave Kinsler all kinds of high-fives and pats on the head when he came to the bench after scoring that inning.
"It's never a goal to accomplish something like this," Kinsler said. "You never looked at every home run or stolen base and say, 'Ok, I'm one more closer to 30-30.' You just play hard and play the game the way you're capable of playing it, and hopefully good things happen. It's just a style of game I like to play."
He's certainly played it well. And his teammates appreciate that and showed him that in the way they were all pumped up and pushing him along to get the mark.
"It meant a lot," Kinsler said about the reaction of the dugout. "It's something that's difficult to accomplish, and they realize that. It's nice to have your whole team behind you in something like that. They know that I was trying to get it and they were pushing me to try to get it."