Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston decided it was time for another lineup change, considering the prolonged struggles of second baseman Aaron Hill. On Wednesday, Gaston dropped Hill down to the eighth spot of the order.
“I’m just trying to get him somewhere comfortable,” Gaston said. “I’ve been watching the last week, two weeks, three weeks and he’s come up in those spots that have really been sometimes crucial spots.
“That might be tough on him right now, because he’s struggling really bad as far as trying to find his swing and getting back to where he was before. I thought I’d move him down.”
Entering Wednesday, Hill was hitting .151 over his past 14 games with no home runs and just three RBIs for the Jays. That showing comes after a 22-game stretch during which he began to show signs of life, hitting .302 with seven homers and 15 RBIs.
Hill is currently stuck in an 0-for-20 skid in the batter’s box.
Gaston opted to move All-Star catcher John Buck to the sixth spot, which had been occupied by Hill since June 24. Hill opened the year as Toronto’s No. 2 hitter. Batting out of that spot last season, the second baseman hit .286 with 36 homers and 108 RBIs for the Jays.
Hill entered Wednesday batting .206 with 18 homers and 48 RBIs this year.
Gaston did not believe the move to the eighth hole would negatively affect Hill’s confidence.
“No, I don’t think so,” Gaston said. “I’m just hoping that will help him relax a little bit and not put too much pressure on himself.”
NEW YORK AT TORONTO
at 7:07 p.m. ET, Rogers Centre
YANKEES (78-48, — GB AL EAST)
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Marcus Thames, DH
6. Jorge Posada, C
*7. Austin Kearns, RF
8. Brett Gardner, LF
9. Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Pitching: Phil Hughes (15-5, 3.90)
BLUE JAYS (65-60, 12.5 GB AL EAST)
1. Fred Lewis, LF
2. Yunel Escobar, SS
3. Jose Bautista, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, DH
6. John Buck, C
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Aaron Hill, 2B
9. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
Pitching: Brett Cecil (10-6, 3.90)
*Yankees RF Nick Swisher was a late scratch due to a swollen left knee. He fouled a pitch off his leg during Tuesday’s game in Toronto.
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