BALTIMORE -- Rookie Mitch Moreland, who has homered in his last two games, got a second straight start Saturday against the Orioles. Rangers manager Ron Washington likes what he's seen of the 24-year old, who has started at first base in three of the past four games.
"He's a gamer," Washington said of Moreland. "He's not afraid. ... He's going to go up there and if he sees what he likes, he's going to give you a good swing on it."
Moreland is batting .292 and has hit safely in 10 of his first 15 Major League games since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma City on July 29. At Triple-A, Moreland was batting .289 with 12 homers and 65 RBIs in 95 games.
Seeing his name in the lineup on a regular basis has helped create a comfort zone for Moreland.
"It's definitely a good feeling to be able to walk in and know you've got a good chance to have an opportunity to play. You come up, you have an open mind and you're
ready when they put you out there. If it's every day, so be it."
If he had his druthers, Moreland would like to blend into the woodwork rather than stand out, especially on a veteran ballclub chasing a pennant.
"You have to know your role, too, as a young guy coming in. You just try to help your team, especially the kind of team we have right now -- leading the division and making a push. ... Do whatever they ask of you," he said.
That humility comes from Moreland's legacy -- a strong college program at Mississippi State and a willingness to work hard in the Minors, Washington said.
"We didn't give it to him, he earned it. Those type of guys, when they earn something, they know how to cherish it," Washington said.