Willie Horton was hitting only .156 against the Minnesota Twins and the Texas slugger decided a different approach was required.
So, before Wednesday night's game, "I made up my mind to try to hit the ball to right field," he recalled.
The results of the designated-hitter's brainstorm was a homer and a double to right and a single in Texas' 4-3 victory. "I haven't been getting anything good to hit inside all year. I've been planning to hit that way since the first two months of the season."
The Twins used a shift on Horton, placing three infielders between second and third base. Horton beat the shift with a long opposite-field homer in the second, then smacked a double down the right-field line in the sixth to score Toby Harrah from first with the winning run.
Minnesota right-fielder Rich Chiles expected Horton to hit his way, but had trouble following the ball on Horton's homer.
"I was watching him and it looked like he was trying to hit that way," said Chiles. "His home run ball was right at dusk and I had to be careful how I went back. If I'd seen the ball better, I might have gotten back faster and it might have made the difference."
The victory was also a different experience for Texas, which had dropped four in a row and 12 of its last 18. The Rangers remained eight games behind Kansas City in the American League West.
In other night action Wednesday: Royals 10, Mariners 7
Kansas city collected 18 hits, including four hits and two homers by Darrell Porter and four safeties by George Brett. The Royals overcame a six-run Seattle third inning.
The Royals have won 19 of their last 22 games in busting open the AL West logjam that saw four teams battle for the lead throughout the summer. They have scored 28 runs in the last three nights against the Mariners. Yankees 4, Indians 3
Cleveland rightlander Wayne Garland was one out of away from his first victory over New York, but Mickey Rivers' two-run single up the middle tied the game. Garland then lost it in the 10th on singles by Thurman Munson and Reggie Jackson and a throwing error by left-fielder Bruce Bochte, which allowed Munson to score.
The loss was Garland's fifth straight while Yankee starter Ron Guidry, 13-6, went all the way for his fifth consecutive victory. Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 2
Dave Lemanczyk, 11-13, pitched a six-hitter for hus first triumph in six starts as Toronto broke an 11-game losing streak.
Roy Howell's opposite-field homer off loser Ferguson Jenkins, 10-10 tied the game in the sixth. Gary Woods, recalled from the minor leagues just last week, knocked home the decisive run with a single later in the inning. Orioles 6-5, Tigers 2-11
A pair of rookie catchers shared the spotlight in the doubleheader split. Baltimore receiver Dave Skaggs drove in five runs, three on a bases-loaded double in the 11th inning, to lead the Orioles to their first-game victory.
Lance Parrish, playing in only his second major league game, went 3-for-4 with four runs scored and four RBI in the nightcap. Parrish also hit his first major league home run. White Sox 5, A's 1
Steven Reno, 3-0 since coming to the American League, combined with Dave Hamilton on a four-hitter for Chicago. Ralph Garr had a two-run homer and Don Kessinger a two-run triple for the White Sox. Angels 4, Brewers 1
Don Baylor, who has seven hits in his last eight at-bats and had reached base nine times in his last 10 at-bats, slammed a two-run homer to support Paul Hartzell's five-hitter. Hartzell, 7-9, hurled his fourth complete game of the season. NATIONAL LEAGUE
Dodgers 5, Braves 2
Ron Cey, the all-star third baseman, hit a one-run homer, his 26th, in the fourth inning and drilled another homer an inning later with a man aboard to raise his season's RBI total to 102.
The victory, coupled with Cincinnati's 6-2 loss to San Francisco, reduced the Doger's "magic number" for clinching the division title to 11 games. Giants 6, Reds 3
Willie McCovey, the leading candidate for NL comeback of the year honors, drove in four runs with a double - his 2,000th career hit - and his 489th life-time homer to spark the Giant's victory over the Reds. Winning pitcher Ed Halicki also homered for the Giants while George Foster hit his 46th and Joe Morgan his 22d for the Reds. Phillies 6, Mets 3
Larry Christenson allowed only two hits in pitching the Phillies to their victory. The Phillies supported Christenson with a 10-hit attack that included a home run by Jay Johnstone. Pirates 5, Cardinals 4
Bill Robinson doubled home two runs and scored two others to lead the Pirates. Robinson doubled home two runs and scored on a wild pitch in the first inning and scored again in the third. Ted Simmons and Keith Hernandez homered for St. Louis.
"He's having the finest year of his career," Priate manager Chuck Tanner said of Robinson, who raised his RBI total to 94. "He's had more clutch hits, more game-winning hits than anybody on the team and maybe more than anybody in the league. Padres 9, Astros 5
Dave Roberts drove in four runs with a double and a homer to help the Padres snap the Astros' nine-game winning streak at the Astrodome. George Hendrick also homered for the Padres while Rollie Fingers notched his 32d save, only five short of the NL record.