ARLINGTON - Prince Fielder went into Tuesday's game without a home run in 13 games. It was his longest drought to start the season since beginning 2010 without one in 14 games.
"That means one should be coming soon," Fielder said before the game.
He was exactly right.
Fielder finally hit his first home run for the Rangers leading off the top of the second inning against Mariners pitcher Blake Beavan on Tuesday night, Kevin Kouzmanoff followed with his first home run, giving the Rangers back-to-back blasts for the first time this season. The Rangers had just five home runs in their first 13 games, matching the 1972 team for the fewest in that stretch to start the season.
Manager Ron Washington compared Fielder's start to what Frank Thomas went through with the Athletics in 2006. Thomas was hitting .190 with five home runs and 11 RBI through April and ended up hitting .270 with 39 home runs and 114 RBI while leading the Athletics to a division title.
"Frank needed 100 at-bats to feel comfortable…Prince fits in that same mold," Washington said. "In this game two things happen, you get off to a good start or you get off to a bad start. He got off to a bad start. He's got some work to do but he's got five months to get it right."
Fielder went into Monday hitting .176 with nine hits in 51 at-bats. He has hit some balls hard but is being stopped by the defensive shift that puts three infielders on the right side of the infield.
"If I could put a GPS on my bat, I would," Fielder said. "You can't go up there trying to manipulate the ball or it will take you out of yourself. I can't afford to let this get in my head. If I didn't, I wouldn't be any good to my team. I just go out and try to be myself."
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.Less