ARLINGTON, Texas -- It doesn't make Mitch Moreland's batting average look that much better -- it's .059 entering Sunday.
But the first baseman's towering home run in his first at-bat in the third inning of Saturday's 8-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels definitely made him feel better. It ended an 0-for-13 to start the season, which was tied for the worst beginning in the American League with Toronto's Adam Lind.
"I was trying to keep from jumping up and down around the bases," Moreland said. "I finally got a hit."
Moreland crushed a 2-and-2 slider from Angels starter Tommy Hanson, launching it 435 feet into the home-run porch in right field at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. At the time it gave the Rangers' momentum, trimming the Angels lead to 5-2.
Moreland flew out to center field and struck out twice after the home run, so he's not out of his funk. He has been having good at-bats. He saw 21 pitches Saturday, including seven and six-pitch at-bats that ended in strikeouts.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said before the game that Moreland needs to shorten his swing.
"I'm still putting the ball in play and I've worked the count for the most part," Moreland said.
He's a grind-it out kind of hitter that needs to keep grinding.