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Kipnis settling in, looking to get in groove at plate

ARLINGTON -- Jason Kipnis is still searching for some consistency at the plate since coming off the disabled list nearly two weeks ago. The Indians' All-Star second baseman is no longer citing timing issues for his slow showing since rejoining the lineup.

"Now that we're over a week in," Kipnis said before Monday's game, "we've had enough at-bats and seen enough pitches where we're back in the groove of things. Now, if I get outs it's because I messed up, not because of the timing."

Entering Monday's game in Texas, Kipnis was batting .243 (9-for-37) in 10 games since being activated from the 15-day DL on May 28 following a month-long recovery from a strained right oblique. The second baseman had not launched a home run since April 21 and his last extra-base hit came on April 24.

He turned in an impressive night on Monday, though, going 3-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs scored.

Kipnis is the last batter that Indians manager Terry Francona is worried about.

"He's not in midseason form at the plate," Francona said, "but he's made every play at second and he's always a threat at the plate. There's no doubt that he'll get real hot and you'll see the numbers changed. The fact that he's hitting fourth shows you probably how we feel.

"He's a really good player. The more at-bats he gets while he's healthy, he'll be fine."

Kipnis sustained the oblique injury during a fourth-inning at-bat against the Angels on April 29 and, considering the nature of the setback, knew it would take time to regain his feel at the plate.

"It's always going to take some time," Kipnis said. "Any time you take an extended period of time off, you're not going to be able to just jump right back in there and have your timing. So it's going to take four days to a week before you feel like you're good. It's like Spring Training again, where you haven't swung in a month and then you see live pitching again.

"I think we're doing all right. We're having good at-bats and swinging at the right pitches. We might not be getting all the results we want right now, but we're still making a couple adjustments at the plate. I think it's going all right."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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