Kinsler went 3-for-3 and scored twice in the Rangers' 8-5 win over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.
The teams open the regular season against one another, so neither team pitched its scheduled starting pitchers. Instead, Seattle's Felix Hernandez and Texas' Jason Jennings both pitched in minor league games.
That put the emphasis on offense for both teams, and the Rangers responded.
During his last five games, Kinsler is batting .600 (9-for-15) and has raised his spring average to .478, second on Texas only to Josh Hamilton (.512).
"I want to prove to this organization that I can hit in that spot. I want to prove to everyone in the league that I can hit in that spot," Kinsler said. "Last year, I came out of the gates pretty hot then fell off the map a little bit. I'm just trying to stay consistent this year, raise the lows of my season a little higher."
Kinsler batted .263 in 2007 ,when he split time hitting first or second for the Rangers. He also frequently batted in the seventh slot, which he acknowledged allowed him to be more of a free swinger.
During the first week of spring training, Kinsler signed a contract extension that runs through 2012. The 25-year-old wants to show the Rangers they made a wise investment.
Kinsler hit three singles off Seattle starter Ryan Feierabend, scoring on an RBI single by Blalock in the first inning and on Young's single in the fifth.
"I have to be consistent if I'm going to lead off for this club, do what it takes to get on base every at-bat," Kinsler said. "With the guys behind me, I have to make sure that I'm on base."
Rangers' manager Ron Washington is already convinced of Kinsler's abilities, but likes the attitude his young player is taking.
"That's Ian being competitive," Washington said. "As long as he thinks like that, he's going to do what he has to do to show he does what you're supposed to do in that leadoff spot. That just shows you how mature he's getting."
Seattle scored four runs on six hits off Texas starter Eric Hurley in the first inning, but managed only seven hits the rest of the game.
The Mariners also had another rough outing by their pitching staff. Feierabend gave up three runs and eight hits in four innings while reliever Jake Woods was tagged for four runs and five hits in one inning.
"The scoreboard speaks for itself," McLaren said. "Giving up 18 hits you're not going to win too many ballgames. The pitching's been a little flat here lately. I'm disappointed."
Seattle's Hernandez struck out 10 and allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings while pitching in a minor league intrasquad game. ... Jennings pitched five shutout innings for Single-A Bakersfield in a minor league game against Brevard County, Milwaukee's Single-A affiliate. Jennings gave up two hits, struck out seven and walked five. ... The Rangers reassigned RHP Sidney Ponson and RHP Elizardo Ramirez to their minor league camp. Both are non-roster invitees. ... Seattle leadoff hitter Ichiro Suzuki went 1-for-4 and struck out twice. Suzuki is batting .180 this spring.
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