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Slow starters: First inning proving tricky for Rangers

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MILWAUKEE -- After Justin Grimm gave up five runs on Tuesday, the Rangers went into Wednesday's game having been outscored 22-8 in the first inning this season. That's one of just two innings the Rangers have been outscored by the opposition.

Opponents have outscored the Rangers 8-7 in the third inning. The 22 runs are the most the Rangers have allowed in any inning this season. They have allowed 18 in the sixth inning but scored 27. The first inning is the one that bedevils the Rangers.

Opponents are hitting .169 off Yu Darvish but they are batting .355 against him in the first inning. Grimm has held opponents to a .261 average but .346 in the first inning.

"I do know that usually with the better pitchers in the game, you've got to get them early," manager Ron Washington said. "As they go deeper in the game, they get better. A lot of games we've gotten out of the first inning pretty clean. You hit spurts in that area just like you hit spurts in other areas."

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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