TORONTO -- Thursday marked the first time this season that J.P. Arencibia hit above No. 7 in the batting order when he hit out of the five-hole against the Yankees. It's a place he might want to start getting used to.
For the second straight game, Arencibia found himself in the five spot, hitting behind slugger Edwin Encarnacion to kick off the first of a three-game set with the Mets. In the first inning, he hit a three-run homer off Jon Niese. He added a solo shot off Niese in the third.
"Against certain matchups, yes," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said when asked if Arencibia would see more time in the middle of the order. "He's in a solid run right now with overall production."
The Toronto catcher is starting to find his groove.
Entering play Friday, Arencibia was batting .356 with 10 RBIs and a 1.030 OPS in May. With Friday's homer, he's belted five of his six homers this year in May and has shown a dramatic turnaround at the plate after hitting just .232 with a .513 OPS in April.
Farrell believes the backstop's recent surge is attributed to a couple of specific factors.
"What he has handled so well are breaking balls," Farrell said. "Not to say he can't turn around a good fastball, but when he's been into some pitchers counts, his swing is such that he has good plate coverage, the bat stays in the zone quite a while compared to other guys that might have a swing that's a little more pull-oriented -- where the bat head might be in and out of the strike zone. He has very good plate coverage and he hasn't missed the breaking balls that have stayed up on the plate."