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Cozart upbeat while weathering first slump

Cozart upbeat while weathering first slump

Cozart upbeat while weathering first slump
NEW YORK -- It's been largely unfamiliar territory for Reds rookie shortstop Zack Cozart, who is dealing with his first hitting slump in the Majors.

Cozart entered Friday in a 1-for-22 skid, with his double vs. the Mets on Wednesday snapping an 0-for-13 stretch.

"Every year people go through this," Cozart said before the Reds played the Yankees. "It's a matter of how quick you can get out of it. That's what the good hitters do. You see Joey [Votto] -- he doesn't let 0-for-10 become 0-for-20, which is why he's such a great hitter. For me, I just have to keep going at it. Facing Johan [Santana] the other day, I had some good at-bats and hit some balls hard. I've got to build on that."

Cozart came in batting .236, with three home runs and nine RBIs. As recently as May 8, when he had a five-game hit streak, he was batting .277.

"I feel good at the plate," Cozart said. "I feel like I'm going to get a hit every time up there. I am missing balls by 'this much' and popping out and hitting balls to center when I don't have that kind of pop. It's just a matter of time, at least in my eyes, when everything turns around and it's like earlier in the year."

Reds manager Dusty Baker is contemplating resting Cozart, possibly on Saturday.

"He's up in the air too much right now chasing bad pitches sometimes," Baker said. "When you're going through a period like that, you're taking one as a strike and swinging at ones that are a ball. ... Especially when you're not going well in the leadoff spot, they pile up quickly. He just needs a little cheap hit and he'll start rolling."

Much of Cozart's success this season has come from the second spot in the order, where he's batting .354, and ahead of Votto. In the leadoff spot, where he's been lately, he came in batting .172 in 21 games.

"I take the same approach leading off as I do in the two-hole," Cozart said. "It's obvious I'm not up to bat with people on base as often, but it's one of those things. I don't think wherever I'm hitting makes much of a difference. I'm just not getting hits right now. A week ago I had a five-game hitting streak and felt fine."

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