PITTSBURGH -- Andy LaRoche may have finished with just one hit in eight at-bats against the Phillies, but signs are apparent that the third baseman is making adjustments to get out of his recent offensive funk.
LaRoche spent extensive time working with hitting coach Don Long in Philadelphia, with the goal being to get LaRoche to open up his stance more at the plate. LaRoche had on recent at-bats inadvertently closed his stance after pitchers began working him more to the outside part of the plate.
Going 1-for-8 against the Phillies certainly wasn't ideal, but LaRoche's approach convinced both him and manager John Russell that he is getting back on track.
"It was a good feeling because in Chicago, I wasn't hitting the ball all that well," LaRoche said. "It felt good to actually square up a couple."
LaRoche entered the two-game series with just three hits in his previous 30 at-bats, a stark contrast to the 20-for-53 stretch that immediately preceded it.
"When he went through that really hot streak, he was using a lot of the field," manager John Russell said. "Yesterday against [Phillies ace Roy] Halladay, he had some pretty good at-bats against a very good pitcher. That's telling you he's seeing the ball much better."
-- Jenifer Langosch