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Berkman Searching For Swing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Lance Berkman was brought in over the winter with the hope he would help replace the production of Josh Hamilton, who departed for the rival Angels.

    The Rangers knew first-hand how Berkman can be when healthy, which he wasn't in 2012, as they saw him put together a big power season in St. Louis in 2011 and help lead the Cardinals to a seven-game World Series win over the Rangers.

    Through the first month or so of the 2013 season, Berkman was getting on base and driving in runs, but since then, that production has dropped off dramatically and when Berkman is getting hits they seem to be singles, the same thing Rangers fans jumped on Michael Young for last season.

    Over his last 25 games, Berkman is hitting just .237 with a .315 on-base percentage and has more strikeouts (20) than walks (11), which is totally un-Berkman. Over that time, Elvis Andrus has nearly as many RBIs as the Rangers' No. 3 hitter.

    With an 11-game homestand beginning Monday, the Rangers hope Berkman can rediscover what he was doing earlier in the year. On the season, Berkman is hitting .294 at home — 51 points higher than his road average this season. His on-base percentage is 71 points higher at home.

    With the bad way the Rangers' offense has been going since Ian Kinsler went on the disabled list, they need all they can get from anyone else, and a hot Berkman would be a huge boost for the struggling lineup.