Kinsler returns, hopes to solve road woes

Kinsler returns, hopes to solve road woes

MINNEAPOLIS -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler was back with the Rangers and in the lineup on Saturday afternoon after missing three games on paternity leave. His wife, Tess, gave birth to son Jack on Wednesday.

"Awesome ... everyone is healthy, everyone is fine," Kinsler said.

Chris Davis was optioned back to Triple-A Round Rock before the game against the Twins.

Kinsler is back just in time for the final eight games of a 10-game roadtrip. He does so with one of the most extreme splits that can be found in baseball. Kinsler is hitting .333 at the Ballpark in Arlington and .123 on the road.

His home batting average, going into Saturday's action, was the 11th-highest in the Major Leagues. The .123 road batting average was the lowest. Dan Uggla of the Braves had the second-lowest at .159.

"Pretty bizarre," Kinsler said. "My wife has been pregnant all year, that's the only thing I can think of. My wife being pregnant before has been no problem. I don't know what it is. It has been a weird year on the road. Being with your family at home is easier, but between the lines, it has no effect."

Manager Ron Washington had a suggestion.

"Should we stop playing him on the road?" Washington joked. "I don't have an answer. He's no dumb kid. He'll figure it out."

Kinsler is hitting .235 overall, but he leads the team in walks and has a .356 on-base percentage entering Saturday -- matching his career on-base percentage coming into the season. The 38 walks and his 40 runs scored are both tied for seventh-best in the American League.

"What I'm hoping for is the days off he had will rejuventate him," Washington said. "I don't think having a paternity leave will fix anything, but I'm hoping the days off rejuventate him ... make him stop getting underneath the ball and stay on top of it."