Renteria's bat heating up

Renteria's bat heating up

HOUSTON -- After struggling mightily throughout the first half, Reds shortstop Edgar Renteria has finally caught a prolonged spark at the plate.

Renteria, whose fifth-inning grand slam was integral in Tuesday's 5-1 Reds win over the Astros, came into Wednesday with a six-game hitting streak. During that stretch, he batted .333 (8-for-24). After going 0-for-4 and having his streak snapped on Wednesday, his average stands at .242 overall.

"I feel good. I feel more comfortable at the plate and I'm taking more at-bats," Renteria said. "It's about timing. I've got my timing back. I feel much better."

Before the All-Star break, Renteria was batting only .225. Since the second half started, he is batting .295 (13-for-44), with five doubles and 11 RBIs. Manager Dusty Baker had long repeated he felt that Renteria would heat up when the weather got warmer. It took much longer than expected, but it now seems to be the case.

"I'm just glad we've got him. He's really saved us here the last week or so," Baker said.