Rio Ruiz on his recent run of success at the plate

Orioles third baseman Rio Ruiz has a bat that is trending up. He hit another homer last night, his third in seven games and his third in his past three home games.

That included a pinch-hit homer Aug. 10 versus Houston and a two-run walk-off homer the next day. And last night’s ninth-inning homer against Kansas City. In that game, Ruiz also walked twice and grounded into a double play. In seven games since he returned from the farm, he is 6-for-17 with three homers and seven RBIs.

For the season, Ruiz is batting .245/.317/.372 in 96 games. But in 25 games since June 28 - wrapped around a brief stay in the minors - he is batting .333/.394/.603 in 72 plate appearances with three doubles, a triple, four homers and 14 RBIs.

Ruiz got 195 plate appearances over three big league seasons with Atlanta before coming to Baltimore and he’s gotten 310 here this season.

Ruiz-AB-White-Front-sidebar.jpg“Think the biggest thing is to give it time,” he said. “You can’t get too caught up in results. That is harder to do than say. You have to stick with the process. I think you grow year by year ,and if you work at it consistently, the sky is the limit for anyone.

“The biggest thing that has helped me minimize thoughts is just worry about barreling the ball more than anything. Sometimes you get too caught in mechanics or things you should not think about when in the box.

“That is all hitting is, is mental. The more you think, the more trouble you get into. You try to worry about just one thing, and for me, that is barreling the ball. Whatever your cue may be to try and hit the ball hard, that is what you try to do.”

Ruiz said his recent power surge is not by design. He has not been looking to hit homers, but they’ve happened. He’s hit three in his last 21 plate appearances and three in his last 10 home game plate appearances.

“It’s nothing I thought about doing,” he said. “It just kind of happened. I don’t think any of the home runs I’ve hit, I really go into the at-bat trying to do that. Some of them are late in the at-bats, too. It’s just proof of the body of work I’ve put in. Seeing balls as long as I can and recognizing pitches. That’s been a big part of what I’ve been able to do this year.”

Ruiz told me there’s been no change in the clubhouse and the team remains upbeat despite 13 losses in the last 14 games. Players like Hanser Alberto, Pedro Severino, Renato Núñez, Anthony Santander, Ruiz and others are looking to take a great opportunity to play at this level and run with it.

“Yeah. Guys get a chance, and everyone is comfortable in here,” Ruiz said. “We have a great atmosphere that allows them to be themselves.”

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