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Rangers sticking with struggling Smoak

Rangers sticking with struggling Smoak

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are sticking with struggling first baseman Justin Smoak even though Chris Davis is now leading the Pacific Coast League in hitting.

Smoak snapped an 0-for-25 skid at the plate Monday night with a line drive single in the sixth against the Indians. Meanwhile, down at Oklahoma City, Davis has the best batting average in the Pacific Coast League (.349) and is eighth in slugging percentage (.542) and 12th in on-base percentage (.397). He also has nine home runs and 53 RBIs.

"Chris is playing extremely well, but we have no plans to make a change right now," general manager Jon Daniels said Tuesday.

Smoak says it's encouraging to have the organization back him through his struggles, but he knows he still has to come out of his current slump soon. He is 5-for-44 (.114) with just two RBIs in his last 13 games

"I'm here for a reason, because they've believed in me just as much as I believe in myself," Smoak said. "There's nothing that's going to stop me from trying to get better or stop me from trying to be the player that I know I can be. It's just one of those things where I've got to keep working hard to come out of it."

It's been an up-and-down season for Smoak, who despite his hitless streak finds himself second among American League rookies with eight home runs and 34 RBIs.

"I feel like I've been taking good at-bats, making good contact," Smoak said. "I've just been unfortunate sometimes. You've got to keep working hard in this game and get better."

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