Taveras extends hitting streak to seven games

Taveras extends hitting streak to seven games

ST. LOUIS -- Oscar Taveras has a lot to live up to, and he has needed two primary things as he delves deeper in his first season in the Majors.

The Cardinals solved the first problem, playing time, when they traded right fielder Allen Craig to Boston last Thursday at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. The second, patience, is starting to pay dividends, too.

In seven games since becoming the team's everyday right fielder last Thursday, Taveras is hitting .304 (7-for-23) with a home run, six RBIs and three walks while striking out only twice.

"He's getting big hits for us," manager Mike Matheny said after Taveras delivered a run-scoring single in the Cardinals' 5-2 win over the Red Sox on Thursday. "I see him getting closer to really getting comfortable. He's fouling off some tough pitches, and fouling them off hard."

Touted as the Cardinals best prospect since Albert Pujols arrived in St. Louis, Taveras hit .189 in his first stint in the Majors, which lasted 11 games before he was sent back to Triple-A.

Taveras hit .220 in the first 21 games of this stint -- coming off the bench in some instances and starting in others. He now has a seven-game hitting streak since the trade that opened up playing time in right field.

The Cards' top prospect is also becoming more comfortable on the corner.

"I like the aggressiveness he has in the outfield," Matheny said. "He was being aggressive out there. Those are things that he has been working hard with with [first-base coach/outfielder instructor] Chris Maloney in our outfield. He's getting better out there, too."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.