Kubel gaining confidence at plate after hard hits

Kubel gaining confidence at plate after hard hits

PHOENIX -- Even though he is mired with a .171 batting average in August entering Saturday, D-backs outfielder Jason Kubel came away from his 0-for-4 night at the plate Friday feeling more confident after striking multiple pitches on the sweet spot.

Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, who collected a combined 49 RBIs in June and July, the quality at-bats and swings ended up producing nothing as the Padres set up an infield shift that played Kubel perfectly up the middle and to the right side.

"I'm just happy I hit a couple balls hard again, I felt better," Kubel said. "The shift is there for a reason, that's where I hit my liners and groundballs. It's part of it, but I'm happy I felt better at the plate and hit some balls hard."

Kubel, who totaled 15 multi-hit games in June and July, is 3-for-19 over his last five games. But despite not producing the hits he is used to this season, Kubel won't be adjusting his approach at the plate. Instead he will continue to work his way out his slump, not minding the way the opposing defense plays him.

"I hope to put in the air and get it over the infield's head," Kubel said. "You don't want to try to hit a groundball to third because that will throw you off and change everything. They do the shift because that's your strength, so why do you want to get away from that and change your swing and approach? It's not going to happen every time, that's just how it worked out last night."