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05/31/09 7:54 PM ET
Sweeney making habit of robbing Kinsler
Outfielder takes away second homer from Rangers slugger
By Daniel Paulling / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Ryan Sweeney must grow a few inches when Ian Kinsler comes to bat. His grab of Kinsler's would-be home run Sunday was his second such catch this season. "He just keeps hitting it to me," Sweeney said. "I was talking to [Rangers first baseman Hank] Blalock about how many times that's happened. Those are the only two times I've stolen a home run." Sweeney first robbed Kinsler on April 30. The Athletics were visiting the Rangers and were up, 4-2, in the eighth inning. Kinsler's home run would've put the Rangers ahead, but Sweeney helped preserve the win. Dallas Braden started both games for the Athletics, who won Sunday, 5-4, with help from Sweeney. Sunday's grab was a little more difficult for Sweeney because the ball was hit right at him. Those are tougher for outfielders to judge. Kinsler's shot earlier in the season was hit toward the gap, which allowed Sweeney to read it more easily. "You're thinking, 'Oh, man, again,'" Kinsler said. "Earlier in the season, it was a little different. It was a game-winning situation, so you remember it a little more." Kinsler slammed his helmet in frustration after he saw what happened. "I thought I had enough," Kinsler said. "You never know with the fences here, though. He's a big guy." So, what's better: hitting a home run or stealing one? "Right now, it's robbing one," Sweeney, who is 6-foot-4, said. "It's important to keep runs off the board." He adds with a smile, "But mix in a home run every now and then."
Daniel Paulling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.