HOUSTON -- One week ago, Reds manager Dusty Baker made good on a plan to give first baseman Joey Votto some rest. To his credit, Votto certainly hasn't squandered the boost recharged batteries can provide.
Votto came into Monday's series opener against the Astros with a six-game hitting streak and was 10-for-25 (.400) with four home runs, two doubles and nine RBIs since July 25. That production earned him National League Player of the Week honors on Monday.
"I think there is more to it, but it helped," Votto said of the break from the lineup last week, only his second of the season. "It's been a long year and the All-Star break wasn't much of a break. I was just tired and frustrated. Getting a day off helps you get back to neutral."
Before the day off, Votto began the second half in a 7-for-33 (.212) funk with no homers and four RBIs in nine games. Overall, he came into Monday's action batting .319 with 17 homers, 68 RBIs and a league-leading .428 on-base percentage.
"I feel like the difference this past week or couple of weeks is I haven't missed so much," Votto said. "My swing was a little long at times during the season. I feel like I was little overaggressive at times also. I made an adjustment and it's worked immediately. For stretches this season, I would miss -- over and over and over -- pitches that I should have put in play or fouled off and not miss completely."
Votto went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored to extend his hitting streak to seven games in the Reds' 4-3, 10-inning loss on Monday.