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Everyday action suits D-Backs' Ross

The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Cody Ross is on his best roll of the season while seeing regular time for the first time in about a month.

Ross has 14 hits and three home runs in his last 31 at-bats after hitting a three-run home run to propel the Diamondbacks to a 6-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Tuesday. He has two homers in the last four games and three in his last nine.

"Obviously, anybody will tell you that getting consistent at-bats and going out there every day, you are going to put up numbers," Ross said. "Over the course of my career, I've been able to do that when I am getting consistent at-bats."

Ross has started six straight games, four in left field and two in right, as manager Kirk Gibson tries to walk a fine balance between finding playing time for 5 1/2 outfielders (counting Martin Prado, who started in left field Tuesday) while also searching for production.

"We have five (outfielders) who are everyday players, and it is tough for 'Gibby' to get us all in there," Ross said. "He is doing the best he possibly can to try to get us in there and try to match up. Definitely playing consecutive games helped."

With his current run, Ross has improved his batting average to .279, the highest it has been since May 27. He has eight homers and 39 RBIs in 305 at-bats. He averaged 19 homers in his previous five seasons as a regular in Florida, San Francisco and Boston, where he had at least 405 at-bats a year and averaged 485 at-bats a year.

Ross credits his recent surge to an ability to simplify his approach at the plate.

"I've just been continuing to try to work on my swing mechanics," he said. "My main thing, the one thing that I concentrate on when I step in the box, is just being calm and not having too much movement.

"When you have a lot of movement, a lot of things can go wrong with your swing. So standing there, as quiet as I possibly can, as relaxed as I possibly can, and try to see a pitch I can handle. That's getting back to basics, and not worry about the stuff that a lot of us worry about at times."
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