Mitch Moreland 'on fire' at the plate
May, 15, 2013
By Eric Gilmore | ESPNDallas.com
OAKLAND, Calif. -- There's locked in, then there's whatever type of home-run hitting zone Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland is enjoying right now.
|Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Oakland for his weekly visit.
"He's been really on fire, and he's been the guy that's basically been our best hitter for the last two weeks," Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, who also homered, said. "So hopefully he'll keep it going."
Moreland hit a towering two-run home run off A's right-hander Bartolo Colon during the Rangers' three-run rally in the third. Then, after Beltre snapped a 4-4 tie in the top of the 10th with a solo shot off A's reliever Chris Resop with one out, Moreland hit a solo home run with two outs over the center-field wall -- over 400 feet away -- to give the Rangers a two-run cushion.
"Just try to go up there, stay with your approach, your plan and get a good pitch to hit, and when you do, not miss it," Moreland said. "So far, it's been going good. Hopefully, I can continue to build on it."
Moreland certainly didn't miss Colon's 3-1 fastball, which crossed the heart of the plate, belt high. Moreland fell behind Resop 1-2 before sending his fastball out of the park.
"I just wanted to see it deep, see it over the plate," Moreland said. "I was able to make a good swing on it. Good pitch to hit."
Moreland had his fifth career two-homer game and extended his hitting streak to a season-high seven games. The last time he had a two-homer game was May 17, 2012 -- against the A's.
With his two home runs, Moreland now has nine for the season and is tied with Beltre and Nelson Cruz for the team lead.
Moreland went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and scored two runs. The Rangers needed every bit of power he provided to snap a five-game losing streak at the Coliseum.
The A's rallied for a run in the bottom of the 10th off closer Joe Nathan and nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback. With the bases loaded, Nathan struck out Daric Barton then got pinch hitter Eric Sogard to ground out to second baseman Ian Kinsler.
"Every time you come here and every time you play them, they're just gritty," Moreland said. "They're going to grind out every at-bat, every pitch. That team is trying to find a way to make something happen, and it seems like they feed off of each other. It's pretty contagious once they get going over there. We were able to get a win out of it. It was a big night for us. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling tomorrow."