Bautista's power stroke is back in full force

Bautista's power stroke is back in full force

TORONTO -- Jose Bautista's home-run stroke has returned, as the Blue Jays' slugger has gone deep four times in his last four games.

Bautista didn't exactly struggle through the month of May, with a .295 average and an impressive .930 OPS. But his usual power swing was missing. He homered twice during the month and had a total of seven going into this past week.

The power resurfaced in a hurry, though, with Bautista homering twice in Toronto's 7-6 victory over the Astros on Sunday afternoon. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons thinks at least part of that might be related to his return to right field.

"Unless you've been a [designated hitter] for awhile -- and that's really what your career is -- it's good to get out on the field," Gibbons said. "Play defense, take your mind off [things] instead of sitting in the dugout, sitting up there watching video. I think that's helped him.

"He's feeling better, he's more in his comfort zone. But it was just a matter of time. That wasn't going to last. But, yeah, I think being out on the field is a big part of it."

Bautista made his return to right field against the Nationals on Tuesday. He spent the previous six weeks as the club's DH because a sore shoulder prevented him from throwing a baseball. The time away from right wasn't ideal, but it did allow him to remain in the lineup. The club hopes the injury concerns are a thing of the past.

The Dominican native went 3-for-4 against the Astros in the series finale. He's now riding an 11-game hitting streak, which is one shy of a career high set in 2007. It was the 24th multi-homer game of Bautista's career and his first this year.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.