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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Baseball notebook: Kinsler hits for cycle

Rangers’ Ian Kinsler, a former Spokane Indian, slides safely into third base for a triple to complete cycle.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Rangers’ Ian Kinsler, a former Spokane Indian, slides safely into third base for a triple to complete cycle. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

Ian Kinsler bolted out of the batter’s box as soon as the ball left his bat. He knew he was headed to third base, no matter what.

The Texas Rangers had a big lead over Baltimore in the sixth, and Kinsler already had the chance to accomplish the rare feat of a cycle. It happened after he hit a long flyball into the right-center field gap.

“When I hit that ball, I was just hoping for it to get over his head. Then when it got over his head, I was hoping for it to rattle around,” Kinsler said. “I wasn’t going to stop at second, regardless if he came up clean or not. I was going to give it a shot.”

Kinsler got up and slapped his hands together after sliding head-first into third without a throw for the triple to complete the fourth cycle in team history, and the Rangers went on to a 19-6 victory over the Orioles to snap a five-game losing streak Wednesday night.

Kinsler played for the Spokane Indians in 2003.

Dice-K on DL

Boston right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka went on the 15-day disabled list with a mild right shoulder strain after his second straight poor start to open the season.

Matsuzaka didn’t make it to the second inning Tuesday against Oakland, giving up five runs and five hits on 43 pitches. After going 18-3 last year, Dice-K is 0-1 with a 12.79 ERA this season.

The Japanese star won three games while earning the MVP award at the World Baseball Classic this spring.

But Boston manager Terry Francona thinks the extra work has caused trouble early for Matsuzaka in the regular season.

Clearing the bases

Black players accounted for 10.2 percent of major leaguers last year, the most since the 1995 season. The sport had reached an all-time low of 8.2 percent in 2007, according to Richard Lapchick, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports. … Former KXLY broadcaster Paul Olden is taking over as the Yankee Stadium public address announcer in the absence of Bob Sheppard, who is in his late 90s, has not worked a game since late in the 2007 season.

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