BALTIMORE - Adam Lind's streak of reaching base ended, at nine consecutive plate appearances, in the seventh inning of Monday's 2-1 loss to the Orioles. That stretch, which included three singles and six walks, has earned him a more prominent role in Tuesday's lineup.
Lind batted second in the order for the 22nd time in his career and for the first time since 2007. Melky Cabrera moved in to the five hole, behind Edwin Encarnacion.
"We're just basically looking to change something up," said manager John Gibbons prior to Tuesday's game. "He's been getting on base a lot lately; there's nothing scientific about it, maybe just a little look and that will change something."
The Blue Jays are looking for runs; they've scored only 31 in the 10 games since leadoff hitter extraordinaire Jose Reyes went down long-term with an ankle injury. Lind, who's taken good-natured ribbing of late – he's the Blue Jays' "OBP Machine" – is looking forward to getting an increased number of hitter-friendly pitches batting in front of sluggers Jose Bautista and Encarnacion.
"Hopefully I get more fastballs," said Lind. "That's the goal to get myself in hitter's counts but the way people throw is usually when they're ahead in the count that's when you get all of the off-speed pitches."
All talk about the lack of offence, plate discipline and the approach to hitting will be quelled if Bautista and Encarnacion get going. The two have gone a combined 4-31 with a home run (Bautista) and four RBI since Bautista returned last Friday from a four-game absence with back spasms.
"The good teams, you've got everybody doing something," said Gibbons. "There's no question they're in the middle of our lineup, they're our big guys and they will, I mean they'll get it going. You look up and down our lineup, there have been a number of guys who've been hit or miss, they've been kind of cold. We feel good that once it happens we've got a pretty good team."
Since starting the season 0-for-14 with a walk in his first 15 plate appearances, Lind has responded by going 9-for-25 (.360) with nine walks. He benefited from a recent stretch on the bench – he didn't start four consecutive games and appeared in only the last – when he was able to watch pitchers' trends and pick the brains of respected coaches and teammates.
"I just haven't been too stubborn this year and I've made adjustments with what pitchers have done," said Lind. "Sitting on the bench for those four days in a row, you get caught up in the moment when you're playing and you don't have time to sit back. As odd as that may sound with all of the down time you don't have time to sit back and realize what pitchers are trying to do. Then you sit there, talk to (hitting coach Chad Mottola,) DeRosa and it simplifies things a little bit."