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Cozart is thriving in the two-hole

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CINCINNATI -- Sometimes it's hard to find the catalyst for a hot streak, and sometimes it's remarkably easy. Reds shortstop Zack Cozart falls into the latter category.

Cozart has taken off at the plate since returning to the second spot in the lineup. In that spot, he entered Thursday batting .385 (10-for-26) with two home runs in six games. He had hit safely in four of his last five, with a pair of three-hit games -- including during Wednesday's 11-2 thumping of the Phillies.

"I'm just familiar with it," Cozart said of the two-hole. "Any time you're hitting in front of Joey [Votto], you're going to get better pitches to hit, too. They don't want to put me on and have him coming up."

While he was slotted as the No. 7 hitter, Cozart batted .097 (3-for-31) with two homers in eight games.

"I'm glad to see him get going because he was starting to press," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Last season, Cozart didn't have his fourth homer until May 21. He also batted .324 in his 27 games as the No. 2 hitter.

"I guess a lot of people didn't realize I hit well in the two-hole last year," Cozart said. "So far, so good this year. Hopefully I can keep it going."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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