Bautista still unlucky at 11

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has gone 11 games without hitting a home run. (JAMIE...

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has gone 11 games without hitting a home run. (JAMIE SQUIRE/Getty Images/AFP)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:56 PM ET

KANSAS CITY - The Blue Jays road trip ended with a whimper, not a bang.

It’s 11 games and counting now since slugger Jose Bautista hit one out while on the pitching front, Ricky Romero had all the breaks go against him in a 3-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Thursday afternoon.

So no home runs from your top gun on the seven-game trip and two losses from your No. 1 starter — Romero — and still the Jays ended up 4-3 overall.

Over the 11 games that Bautista has been kept in the park, the Jays have gone 6-5.

The glass half full crowd can look on the two developments as a positive sign, that the John Farrell Jays can hold their own when the best they have hits a cool spot.

The glass half empty side can say it’s wasted opportunities.

For his part Bautista, who was 0-for-3 with a walk on Thursday, said his current power slump — he also doesn’t have an extra-base hit in nine consecutive games — is the result of poor mechanics.

“I’m getting plenty of pitches, it’s just that I’m not getting ready on time consistently and my load (his trigger mechanism that starts his swing) is too big and too long right now, but I’m working on it,” Bautista said. “I just haven’t managed to make the adjustments during the game. It’s showing a little bit in the results.

“I’m not even really hitting that many balls as hard as I usually do, as consistently as I do. It’s a rough patch in the season. I said it before, that I didn’t expect to continue doing what I was doing the whole season. That would have been pretty hard. I’m working on getting back to where I was and it’s a day to day thing.”

It hasn’t been as if Bautista has been a stiff at the plate. Over his past 11 games he’s hitting .316 (12-for-38) with one double, nine runs scored, six RBIs and 12 walks.

There was no way anyone thought he would continue the pace he set through April and May when he drilled 20 home runs over 43 games.

For those who are starting to panic, Bautista doesn’t believe the problem is a major one.

“I know the changes that I have to do and I feel that I’m working on it in practice and I’m beginning to get the feeling during BP and in the cage,” Bautista said. “But when the game starts, it hasn’t translated.”

Bautista may not be raking like he did last month, but opposing managers aren’t about to give him the opportunity to come through when the game is on the line.

In the eighth inning Thursday, with a runner on second and one out and the Royals up 3-2, reliever Aaron Crow threw four pitches well off the plate for the intentional, unintentional walk, even though Adam Lind, who was 3-for-3 (all singles) was on deck.

Bautista said he wasn’t frustrated by not getting anything to hit in those situations.

“It’s not frustrating, I don’t expect them to throw balls right down the middle,” he said. “The fact that they’re far away is just a coincidence. I don’t mind that at all. If the guys behind me do what they can do, like Lindy and whoever is hitting behind him, it’s going to mean more runs for us.

“What I can’t do is start swinging at pitches (out of the zone) that I know I can’t hit hard and hurt the team in that sense.”

That Lind has come back from the disabled list and over the past six games has produced in such terrific fashion — four homers, 10 RBIs and a .429 average (9-for-21) — has been a godsend given Bautista’s power outage.

“I’m not the only reason why we win games,” Bautista said. “We have great hitters on this team and I’m not the only one that can hit a home run. It’s always nice to win and whether I’m hitting well or not, it doesn’t really matter to me.

“As long as we can go out here and get some wins, it’s the result we’re looking for when we show up at the ballpark.”

Those wins, though, seem to come more frequently when Bautista’s launching them.


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