Whatever the team has been putting in Cody Ross’ Gatorade since the All-Star break, it’s been working.
The Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder is hitting .377 with 13 RBI in 14 outings since the Midsummer Classic.
With his three-run shot off Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson in a 6-1 D-backs win over the Rays on Tuesday, Ross has hit safely in six of the last eight games and has batted .452 over that time.
“He (Hellickson) left a fastball over the middle,” Ross said, “and luckily I was able to get some good wood on it. The last couple of games (against Hellickson) I’ve hit him well, but previously I was just kind of OK.”
Ross, in fact, is now 5-for-11 with five RBI in his career against Hellickson.
The 11-year veteran credits consistent playing time and better patience at the plate for his recent surge.
“The one thing I concentrate on is just being calm and not having too much movement,” he said Tuesday. “Sometimes when you get a little too much movement, a lot of stuff can go wrong in your swing.
“That’s getting back to basics — just seeing it and hitting it, as opposed to having to worry about all of the stuff that a lot of us worry about a lot of times at the plate.”
Ross also claimed his recent efficiency on offense is nothing new.
“Over the course of my career, I’ve been able to [produce] when I’m getting consistent at-bats,” he said.
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has noticed the same in change in Ross that the outfielder described.
“He’s much calmer at the plate,” Gibson said Tuesday. “He’s not jumping at the ball as much, and he’s barreling it…and he’s recognizing (pitches) better.”