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Kinsler the spark that's igniting Rangers

Kinsler the spark that's igniting Rangers

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ST. LOUIS -- The Rangers went into Saturday's game having won four of their last five games. During those five games, Ian Kinsler was 8-for-18 with three walks and six runs scored.

That came after Kinsler was 0-for-8 with a walk in two losses after being activated off the disabled list. Kinsler missed almost a month with a stress reaction in his right rib cage, and manager Ron Washington said it's no coincidence that the offense has picked up with his return.

"He's the straw that stirs the drink," Washington said. "He may not be your prototypical leadoff hitter, but he fights for his bats, he scores runs, takes walks, steals bags, can hit the ball out of the ballpark and drive in runs. He gets everybody going. He makes Elvis [Andrus] feel better. He makes everybody feel better.

"I like him in the No. 1 hole. He's not prototypical, but he scores runs. Even when he was hitting .250 or .260, he scores runs. He crosses the dish. That's what leadoff hitters do."

Since the beginning of the 2011 season, Kinsler, who went 1-for-5 in Saturday's 4-2 victory, has scored 250 runs in the leadoff spot, the most in the Major Leagues.

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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