Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Bay ends 104 at-bat homerless drought
By Mike Mazzeo
Twenty-nine games later, Jason Bay finally hit another home run.
Bay ended the second-longest homerless drought of his career Tuesday night at 104 at-bats, belting a solo blast into the left-field seats in the sixth inning of the Mets’ 7-3 loss to the A’s at Citi Field.
For Bay, it was his first homer since May 13 in Houston, and first extra-base hit since May 20, the longest such streak of his career (89 at-bats).
“I’ve been kind of working at it every day, and it’s nice to get results,” said Bay, who finished 3-for-3 with a single, triple and two RBIs. “It’s just been a battle. The last week has been better, it’s just nice to get the results.”
Manager Terry Collins indicated that Bay may be moved up from the No. 6 hole for Wednesday’s game against Oakland.
“If he’s gonna hit it like that, I’m gonna move him up,” Collins said. “That’s why he’s here.”
“I’ll hit anywhere. I told TC that,” said Bay, who was dropped from fourth to sixth in the batting order on June 4 and has been hitting there ever since. “It doesn’t bother me one way or another. I’d love to move back up in the order, that means things are going well. I feel like I’m a guy on this team that hits in the middle of the order, but I’ll hit anywhere and I’ll welcome that if we get to it.”
Bay’s season-high tying three-hit effort was his first since May 19 versus Washington. It was also his first game this season with two extra-base hits and first since June 28, 2010, at Florida (two homers). Bay went 108 at-bats without a home run spanning two seasons (2009-10).
Bay nearly had his third multi-homer game as a Met, but was robbed by Coco Crisp in the eighth. He hit a moonshot to center, but Crisp climbed the wall and deflected it from clearing the fence with his glove. Bay wound up with a triple. The umpires reviewed the call, and upheld it after a 3-minute, 55-second delay.
Bay said the key to his recent success at the plate has been his ability to use his legs.
“It’s easy to say and you can’t tell, but (it’s) just a feel of getting the legs more (involved) instead of using your hands to get to the ball,” Bay said. “I’ve been driving the ball to opposite field and up the middle. That’s been my focus.
“I feel like I have a better base. I’m just making a conscious effort to be on my legs."