Ian Kinsler cranked a two-out, bases-empty home run in the top of the fourth inning of Thursday's Game 2 of the American League Division Series, giving the Texas Rangers a 2-0 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The bomb could go a long way toward earning the Rangers a far more important 2-0 lead—in the ALDS, that is.
Kinsler's shot was sweet redemption after he grounded out with a runner on second base in the second inning, and came on a fastball from the homer-prone Jame Shields of the Rays.
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Kinsler is the sweet swinging second baseman who has struggled mightily in 2010. He hits for power, average, steals bases, and is a fairly reliable fielder. But nagging injuries kept him from flashing that potential in 2010.■ Rangers up 2-0, on the cusp of first ALCS (mlb.com)
Kinsler got ample opportunity to rest his ailments in September, and has looked fantastic in the first two games of this postseason. If he's back to full strength, he's the X-factor.
"We're a very good team," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "It seems like throughout the year there were always challenges, but we played our best baseball when our backs were to the wall or when we were facing a tough team. We had our lapses but, for the most part, that's our game, that's our team and that's what we've been doing."