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Guzman starting to heat up for Friars

Guzman starting to heat up for Friars

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Guzman starting to heat up for Friars
WASHINGTON -- After a slow start at the plate, Jesus Guzman, who was the Padres' top hitter in the second half of 2011, appears to be finding his swing.

Entering Tuesday's game against the Nationals, Guzman was hitting .438 in his last five games, with four RBIs and three multihit games. Overall, he was hitting .277 with 14 RBIs.

"I think Guzy had maybe some self-imposed high expectations based on last year, tried to do too much, tried to really add on to what he did last year," Padres manager Bud Black said recently.

"I think now we are seeing more of Guzy, a little more loose, little bit more relaxed in the box, swinging at strikes, taking balls, bat speed has picked up a little bit, much better."

A year ago, Guzman had a .312 batting average, 13th best among all National League players from June 16 on. He also flourished with runners in scoring position (.431) and with runners in scoring position and two outs (.444), in addition to 23 multihit games.

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