Hosmer looking to build on recent success

Hosmer looking to build on recent success

Hosmer looking to build on recent success
BALTIMORE -- After a season full of misfortune and frustration, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer finally had things break his way on Wednesday.

All year long he'd been drilling line drives right at defenders, turning quality at-bats into outs. Even though Hosmer was drawing more walks and striking out less than in 2011, he entered Wednesday's series finale against the Yankees with an average of just .177.

For once, Hosmer got the breaks. Two soft ground balls turned into infield hits, and his ninth-inning blooper landed just inside the third-base line for an RBI double.

"That's just how baseball is," Hosmer said before Friday's series opener against the O's. "This game brings something different to you every day. It was good for me to go out and get a couple lucky hits, hopefully get some momentum coming into Baltimore."

The 3-for-4 game raised Hosmer's average to .191, still a far cry from the .293 mark in 2011 that had many excited to see what he could do in his second season.

Despite the lower numbers, Hosmer said he stuck with his one-day-at-a-time approach and tried not to think about his individual numbers.

Manager Ned Yost, who sat Hosmer for a pair of games prior to this week to give him a chance to relax and relieve the frustration, said a game like Wednesday's could be just what his first baseman needed. The Royals had an off-day on Thursday.

"It takes a load off his mind as a performer," Yost said. "'I got three hits, I'm still on the right track.' You can hit the ball hard four times and go 0-for-4. It doesn't do your mind much good. Just getting a little bit of a reward for an at-bat could be enough to really get him going."