Kinsler Hits for Cycle in Robinson-Like Effort

David LynnCorrespondent IApril 16, 2009

On a day when all of Major League Baseball was paying tribute to Jackie Robinson, Ian Kinsler appeared to be channeling the essence of the man who broke the America's color barrier. 


This was what you call a career-game for Kinsler, amongst other Rangers.


Kinsler tied Rangers' records going 6-for-6 with five runs scored, and hit for the cycle, the first right handed Ranger to do so.  Not only was Kinsler's bat on parade, but he also stole a base to add to his Robinson-like night. 


It was unique to see a performance like this on a night when Robinson was getting the honor he deserves.  Having everyone on the field garnering the retired No. 42 was a moving tribute to one of the great heroes in American history. 


Tributes such as these truly make baseball America's sport.  No other league respects their history as much as baseball. In a year when we lose the most historic stadium in American sports, it was moving to see such a tribute.


Kinsler was by no means the only Ranger to have a good hitting night.  Nelson Cruz came within a couple of feet of hitting two grand slams, but had to settle for six RBI.  Marlon Byrd also had five hits and three RBI to round out the big hitters for the night. 


Near the end, I was hoping they would have brought in David Murphy so that he could take some of that momentum and get his first hit of the year.


With all of the offensive fireworks, it would be easy to overlook the quality pitching. 


Kris Benson looked like he was going to have a rough outing after throwing over 50 pitches in the first two innings, but that would not be the case.  He settled down and ended up going six innings and throwing 111 total pitches.  It has to be relaxing for Benson to finally get a win under his belt and show he can battle through adversity.


It was also refreshing to see Willie Eyre come in and throw two scoreless innings after being called up the same day.  That is the type of performance we need from our bullpen.


This was exactly the game we needed after losing five in a row. Still, I can't help but think that if we have to score double digit runs to keep winning games, then it is going to be a really long season.