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Thursday morning items

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Rangers back in second place, a half-game ahead of Anaheim, a game back of Oakland...

Ian Kinsler says he's been in a "mental slump," acknowledging that his defense of late has been unacceptable:

"I think it's been a lack of concentration," Kinsler said. "Everybody expects growing pains offensively, but you shouldn't ever have a lapse on defense. My concentration level slipped a little bit. I have to step up a little bit. I have to make sure I make routine plays."

Kat O'Brien details the Rangers' travel schedule today, and it is pretty hectic...they are taking off from Toronto, it sounds like, in about 10 minutes...

She also says that tonight is Adam Eaton's final rehab start...he'll be re-joining the rotation on Tuesday...

Jim Reeves lambasts the wind study commissioned by the Rangers, saying that it is obvious that the Gold Club has caused wind problems, and that the preliminary results being "inconclusive" is nonsense.

T.R. Sullivan assures us that, just because Gerald Laird started two games in this series, doesn't mean he's the starter...

Because of the travel schedule, backup catcher Gerald Laird got a rare start against a right-handed pitcher on Wednesday. With a day game on Thursday against the Red Sox and Curt Schilling, Laird was going to catch one of the two games.

Showalter chose Wednesday because Barajas is 2-for-6 off Schilling in his career.

Showalter said Laird will catch Friday with left-hander Mark Buehrle pitching for the White Sox and then Barajas on Saturday and Sunday.

I like the Barajas/Schilling rationale...Buck digs small sample sizes...