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Extra-base hit had eluded Wigginton

Extra-base hit had eluded Wigginton

BALTIMORE -- Fifty at-bats -- no extra-base hits. It's a strange blight on Ty Wigginton's stat sheet, a statistical fact that belies his major skill as a player. The Orioles thought they were getting a part-time power threat when they signed Wigginton to be a super-utility player, but so far he's moved a base at a time.

Wigginton went into Thursday's game batting .220, and all 11 of his hits had gone for singles. The 31-year-old hit 23 home runs in 111 games last season, and his recent approach has drawn compliments from Baltimore manager Dave Trembley. In fact, Trembley stopped Wigginton in the hall on Wednesday to share some perspective.

"I said, 'Well, I think you finally got on track because you found out right field's a fair ball,'" Trembley said. "He's been pulling off a lot of pitches. I think he's been first-pitch swinging a lot. The other teams have known that. He's been anticipating first-pitch fastballs for strikes a lot and expanding his strike zone, chasing some pitches."

Wigginton singled up the middle on Thursday, and then he doubled to break the drought in his second at-bat. The veteran hit 12 homers in August last season, so there's reason to believe he'll heat up at some point.

"As I remember him from managing against him, he's got a very good gap-to-gap swing and a much shorter swing. I think his swing right now is a little long," Trembley said before Thursday's game. "Once he gets the first extra-base hit out of the way, I think he can take a deep breath and relax. He's such a competitor. I think he's really pushing the button a little too much."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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