Scott's approach at dish 'shifting' with times

Scott's approach at dish 'shifting' with times

Scott's approach at dish 'shifting' with times
TORONTO -- Luke Scott has seen the shift time and again over his seven Major League seasons, as teams adjust to his tendency to pull the ball to right field. It's a frustrating reality for a pull hitter and part of the reason why Scott has hit just .251 this year.

That's why on Tuesday, Scott decided to change his approach, bunting to the left side of the infield twice for singles while the Blue Jays shifted all of their infielders to the right side. They were probably the two easiest hits Scott has gotten all year.

"I'm tired of hitting balls into the shift. I'm not a big fan of hitting .240. So you do what you can," Scott said.

The first one came with two out in the fourth inning, when Scott laid the first pitch he saw down the third-base line, easily reaching first for a single. The 32-year-old pulled it off again in the seventh, but had to be a little more patient to do so.

Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar actually guarded against the bunt until Scott fouled off the second pitch he saw for his first strike. Then Escobar moved back towards second base, giving Scott nothing but green pasture into which to bunt.

"That's usually what happens," Scott said. "They'll give up a strike. And then after the first strike, sometimes they'll say, 'Hey, if you're willing to take a chance at it, go ahead.' So I took a chance."

Scott, it turns out, has been working on the play since Spring Training, when the Orioles coaching staff approached him about adding it to his repertoire.

"I told him, at this rate you'll be hitting .300 by the end of the month," manager Buck Showalter joked before Wednesday's game. "The way I've approached it is kind of what's best for the Orioles. If we're three runs down leading off an inning and we've got a chance to get a baserunner -- you can't hit a three-run homer with nobody out there. Just take [the hit]. And if it's there, our guys will continue to take it."

Even Blue Jays manager John Farrell -- who said he feared Scott's power more than anything -- was impressed with the veteran's new found method of reaching base.

"He adjusted to us -- that's clear," Farrell said. "The second time, after he got the strike, we backed out of there to go back to the normal positioning, and he did a good job with putting the ball on the ground with a bunt."