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Continued: Woe is Joe: Mauer keeps the faith despite lengthy slump

Brunansky is trying to help Mauer through that, too.

“You are having quality at-bats,” he said he has told Mauer. “You are hitting the ball hard. You can’t control the shifts. Don’t place it. Don’t think about having to hit, just go out there and continue to do what you are doing. Who you are is who you are and you are going to be there at the end.”

On Wednesday, Mauer had a flashback performance in a 7-2 Twins victory over the Blue Jays. After striking out in his first at-bat, dropping his season average to .253, he doubled to left in the third inning, singled to left-center in the fifth, walked in the seventh and singled to center in the ninth. All the hits were well-struck balls. He hit .107 over his previous seven games before Wednesday.

“We tried to get the ball,” Gardenhire quipped.

Mauer is moving forward. He is reminding himself that his track record shows that he will hit and that he shouldn’t make things worse by worrying about shifts or chasing pitches out of the strike zone.

“They say it eventually evens out,” Mauer said, “So someone is going to be in trouble.”



 

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