ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 10: Lance Berkman #27 of the Texas Rangers hits a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 10, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Perhaps Texas Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman is an avid reader of Red Fever, or perhaps it's just chance, but we called for Berkman's bat to get going on this here blog on Monday afternoon, and Berkman responded immediately, mashing a two-run homer to give the Rangers the lead in the seventh inning of Monday's win over Cleveland.
The Berkman sighting was enough to induce the "silent treatment" celebration from the Rangers' dugout, as all the players pretended to be asleep as Berkman entered the dugout.
Berkman, who hit 31 home runs in 2011 with the Cardinals before missing most of the 2012 season, hit his first home run since May 14 and it was a huge one, getting Josh Lindblom off the hook and sending the Rangers to their second straight win, with the first coming on Sunday in the final game of a six-game road trip that saw them go just 2-4.
The win put the Rangers a full game up on Oakland for first place in the AL West, and might have gotten Berkman going in a return home, where he's been a much better hitter this season. As the Rangers' No. 3 hitter, it had to be getting to the point where manager Ron Washington might've considered shuffling the lineup, but Berkman earned some more time on Monday.
"The way things have been going, I wasn't looking for a home run right there," Berkman told ESPN Dallas. "It's always a relief when the good feeling comes. Especially when it's something that helps your team win."
The home run marked Berkman's first RBIs since May 24, so it's been a rough go for the veteran. But if he can get back to the way things were going in April, the Rangers' offense will come to life in a hurry. Then, when Ian Kinsler gets back, just look out.