CINCINNATI -- One of the best hitters in baseball is now one of the hottest in the game, and that can only mean tough times are likely ahead for pitchers that have to face Reds first baseman Joey Votto.
Entering Saturday, Votto had a career-best tying 14-game hitting streak but the numbers inside the streak are even more impressive. He came in batting .549 (28-for-51) during the stretch with three home runs and 10 RBIs. Among his three hits on Friday, Votto hit a three-run homer during the Reds' 6-5 win over Detroit in 10 innings.
"I felt really good lately," Votto said. "A lot of the stuff I was working on earlier in the season I was having trouble with, I think that I've cleared it up. You're always battling in this game to get back to neutral and in the past stretch I feel like I have been, but you can never explain when you go through these hot stretches why it happens. But it does and you enjoy and you continue to work to minimize the valleys and get yourself ready to work."
Over his past 13 games, Votto was batting .563, which was considered the highest average for a 13-game stretch since Gordy Coleman hit .571 for the Reds in May 1965.
Votto came into the day the Major League leader in doubles (25) and the National League leader in hitting with runners in scoring position (.422) and walks (46). His .360 average was second in the NL behind the Giants' Melky Cabrera.
Votto extended his hitting streak to 15 games while going 1-for-2 with two intentional walks during Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Tigers. In the fourth inning vs. Justin Verlander, Votto hit a double that skipped off of Delmon Young's glove in a sunny left field.
Known for being a cerebral hitter, Votto felt that most of the improvements and adjustments he made were mental.
"You're asking yourself to do the work behind the scenes for determination," Votto said. "For the stretches where you're just not doing anything, you go home and you almost want to cry sometimes and people don't understand that part of the game. But the determined ones generally realize that your success comes from work and from the intensity you use on the field."