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Secure at first base, Moreland excels early

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Ron Washington offered Mitch Moreland a bit of timeless advice earlier this spring.

"Come out here and play, man. Have fun and enjoy yourself," Washington told his first baseman.

Moreland is certainly having plenty of fun thus far.

He hit his second homer in as many games during the Rangers' 8-6 loss to Seattle on Friday. Perhaps more importantly, all three of the left-handed hitter's RBIs came off left-handed pitching.

Last season, Moreland hit just .239 against lefties compared to a .281 mark against right-handers. He posted an on-base percentage that was 48 points lower against southpaws.

"I feel pretty good in my at-bats right now," said Moreland, who is hitting .308 this spring after his 1-for-3 afternoon on Friday. "I'm just trying to have the same approach lefty and righty. There's no difference. I'm just trying to go up there and grind out my at-bats, see some pitches and try and get a little deeper into counts."

Washington said there's no doubt in his mind that Moreland will be his first baseman this season and he wants to make sure Moreland knows that.

"We had a conversation in the spring," Washington said. "I didn't want him looking over his shoulder. Don't try to compare his self to anybody else. Just be Mitch Moreland. "He's done that."

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