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CarGo keeps same mindset through ups, downs

DENVER -- Left fielder Carlos Gonzalez entered Friday hitting .269 with seven homers and 25 RBIs, decent numbers for some players but below Gonzalez's All-Star norm. He went through a prolonged 7-for-54 slide that dropped his average to .234 after 24 games on April 27.

Gonzalez then went 17-for-40 in his next 11 games with six doubles, three homers, nine runs scored and 10 RBIs before going 0-for-11 last weekend at Cincinnati. Gonzalez then rebounded in a two-game series at Kansas City, going 3-for-8.

"I believe in myself," Gonzalez said. "I know that I'm going to put numbers [up]. I know that I'm going to have great games and bad games. I think it's all about your mentality. You have to stay positive and just continue to grind and try to help your team every time you have the opportunity."

During his prolonged slump, Gonzalez said his timing was off, and he swung at too many pitches out of the zone. He entered Friday with a team-leading 31 strikeouts in 156 at-bats.

Gonzalez said it's imperative to stay confident, maintain concentration and just wait for his pitch.

"I know it's hard," he said, "because after you have success in the big leagues, they're not going to throw you a cookie right down the middle so you can get out of the slump."

Jack Etkin is a contributor to
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