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Beltre not concerned with slow start at the plate

Beltre not concerned with slow start at the plate play video for Beltre not concerned with slow start at the plate

ARLINGTON -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said he considers himself a "slow starter." From a statistical standpoint, that has not always been the case, but it certainly has been this season.

Beltre went into Tuesday's game with the White Sox hitting .239 with a .418 slugging percentage. Throw in a .293 on-base percentage and Beltre's .711 OPS for the month is his lowest since a .515 OPS in 2009 with the Mariners.

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But Beltre hit .321 with a .356 on-base percentage and a .543 slugging percentage during April 2012, so just being a "slow starter" seems insufficient to explain what's going on with him at the plate this month.

"It's a long season, but the bottom line is I don't want to be struggling," Beltre said before going 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in the Rangers' 10-6 victory over the White Sox. "I know I'm not swinging the way I want to, but I know it's a long season and it may kick in at any time. I have always been a slow starter. I think in 16 years I've only had four or five seasons where I started off with a hot streak.

"The one thing I don't worry about is me. I know I'm going to be fine. I've been through this enough to know not to drive myself crazy with anything. I'm hitting some balls hard but right at people. Once I find holes, things will change."

David Murphy has had rough Aprils before as well. He was 3-for-31 during April in 2009 and 6-for-37 in 2010. He went into Tuesday night's game hitting .170, although that was done in 88 at-bats. That's the concerning part.

"April has not been a good month for me, but this is a little more prolonged," Murphy said. "I still have the feeling I'm going up there with every at-bat thinking this is the at-bat that I'm going to break out. It's definitely frustrating, but what can you do?"

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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