PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates returned home for Memorial Day following a 1-6 road trip that saw them struggle at the plate, scoring just 17 runs while batting .241.
But they did receive a lone bright spot -- albeit a big one -- in the form of shortstop Ronny Cedeno.
Batting in three different spots in the six games he started, Cedeno hit .450 (9-for-20) with three RBIs and three runs scored. The 27-year-old raised his batting average from .234 to .261.
Cedeno batted eighth, leadoff and sixth during the trip, sitting out Friday's game in Atlanta with lower back tightness. He had an on-base percentage of .522 on the road trip, lifting that number from .273 to .306 for the season. The Pirates as a team had an on-base percentage of just .291 for the seven-game trip.
Though his streak of 19 consecutive games reaching base ended with an 0-for-3 performance Sunday, Cedeno said he has simplified his approach at the plate and gotten a better feel for his strike zone after some work with hitting coach Don Long.
"You don't have to think too much, just go," Cedeno said. "Go there, go to home plate, get some good ABs and see a ball and hit it, because [if] you're going to think too much, you're not going to do anything."