ARLINGTON, Texas -- About Rangers' first baseman Mitch Moreland. And an offense not hitting with runners in scoring position.
The Rangers took a while to heat up Tuesday night, staring at a 2-0 deficit until the bottom of the fourth inning. Back-to-back home runs by Nelson Cruz and Jeff Baker served as the spark. Moreland's third hit of the night was the dagger in the Rangers' 10-6 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Moreland has quietly turned his season around in the last nine games, hitting .429 to raise his batting average to a season-high .267. He's hit in five straight games. On Tuesday, Moreland reached based all four times, getting three more hits, all against left-handers.
Moreland's big blow started the Rangers' six-run sixth inning. With one out and Geovany Soto on first base, Moreland smoked a scorching line drive up the left-center field alley off left-handed reliever Donnie Veal. The ball was hit so hard, with some tailing action, that White Sox left fielder Alejandro De Aza never had a chance. Soto scored from first for a 5-4 lead. The Rangers scored five more runs on an Ian Kinsler RBI, two wild pitches and a two-run home run by Adrian Beltre.
"He [Moreland] hasn't been keeping the bat on his shoulders," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's confident that he has a dangerous bat and he let it fly."
Moreland's early season struggles against lefties are behind him. He is 7-for-17 with five doubles against left-handers in the last seven games. He's handled Jason Vargas, Scott Diamond and now Jose Quintana. Moreland and right-handed hitting Jeff Baker, who is crushing lefties, were the only two Rangers with a pair of hits off Quintana.
Moreland has never wavered in his approach, whether it's a lefty or righty. He didn't look at the numbers while he started 1-for-18 against southpaws.
"I really didn't," Moreland said. "I tried to separate the numbers from what's going on at the plate. I've been putting myself in a position where I've been hitting the ball hard."
Moreland and the Rangers were 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position. That after the club batted .194 in those situations for the seven games in Anaheim and Minnesota. Kinsler had two hits Tuesday night, upping his average to .394 with runners in scoring position.