Ian Kinsler, Los Angeles Angels visit Seattle Mariners

By Gene Warnick, The Sports Xchange
Ian Kinsler, Los Angeles Angels visit Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) completes a double play in the second inning forcing out Seattle Mariners batter Mitch Haniger (17) on May 4, 2018 at Safeco Field in Seattle. Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI | License Photo

Maybe it was the goose that took the field during a rain delay at Comerica Park or maybe it was just a return trip to Detroit.

But after a frigid start, Ian Kinsler is showing why the Los Angeles Angels acquired him in an offseason trade with the Tigers.


Since returning to the leadoff spot in the lineup 12 games ago, Kinsler is batting .388 (19-for-49) with six home runs, raising his season average to .229. His streak of consecutive games with a home run ended at three Sunday in Minnesota, although he went 3-for-4 and scored twice in a 7-5 loss to the Twins.

The Angels open a three-game series on Monday in Seattle against the Mariners.

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"Sometimes something clicks and you're able to find something that you can work on every day and work off of," Kinsler told

The second baseman was batting .179 and in a 0-for-13 slump when the Angels arrived in the Motor City in late May. Kinsler, who will turn 36 later this month and is in his 13th season, spent four years with the Tigers after starting his career with the Texas Rangers.


He broke out of the slump with a single in the series opener against the Tigers and went 3-for-3 the next night with a three-run homer in a 9-2 victory.

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"It's a comfortable place for me," Kinsler said of Comerica Park after that game. "The box is comfortable. A lot of good memories in that batter's box. It's comfortable, it's familiar. Probably a little bit of a coincidence, but it's nice to [break out of the slump] here. ...

"A long time coming. Any time you can help the team win, you feel a lot better taking your uniform off after a game."

Kinsler worked diligently with hitting coaches Eric Hinske and Paul Sorrento to find his stroke.

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"The process only keeps you going for a while," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You have to start to see some results. Although his process has been very, very good, you want to get some hits and help your team."

Kinsler's contributions have been all the more important after the Angels have placed shortstop Andrelton Simmons (sprained right ankle) and right-hander/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (UCL sprain in right elbow) on the 10-day disabled list in the past week.


"You can't replace those guys, but at the same time, the games don't stop," Kinsler said. "We've got to play the games. We've got to pitch well, we've got to continue to swing the bats."

On Monday, the Angels are scheduled to face Mariners left-hander Wade LeBlanc (1-0, 2.95 ERA), who will take on Los Angeles for the first time in his career. Despite LeBlanc being involved in only one decision this season, Seattle is 5-2 in his starts.

The surprising Mariners (41-24) have won 17 of their past 22 games to pull into a tie with the defending World Series champion Houston Astros atop the American League West. The Angels (37-29) are 4 1/2 games back.

Seattle has done it by going 21-9 in one-run games, the most victories in the majors in that circumstance.

"We're winning, so that's all right," said Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, whose two-run homer Sunday broke a tie in a 5-4 victory at the Tampa Bay Rays. "Whether we're winning by 10 [runs] or one, as long as we're winning, that's what we're worried about."

Andrew Heaney (3-4, 3.12 ERA) is set to start the series opener for the Angels. The left-hander is 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA in three career starts against the Mariners.


Heaney is coming off his first career complete game and shutout after pitching a one-hitter Tuesday in a 1-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on his 27th birthday.

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