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Gibbons calls for sense of urgency with bats

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' offense is in a run-scoring slump it hasn't experienced in decades.

The team was shut out for the third time in four days Tuesday night in a 4-0 loss to the Twins, something that hasn't happened since the 1990 season when the Blue Jays were blanked in three straight.

The Blue Jays were still able to rip some hard-hit outs Tuesday, but the only batted balls that dropped for hits were seven singles.

No one on the team seems overly concerned about the drought, summing it up in general terms as the ebb and flow of the game of baseball.

But manager John Gibbons acknowledged Wednesday that in order to be successful, the Blue Jays' offence has to lead the charge.

"We need to get the bats going," said Gibbons. "Let's face it. You gotta score to win. We're that kind of team, that's how we're built."

Despite scoring only five runs over their past four games entering Wednesday, the Blue Jays remained second among American League teams with 319 runs scored, and boasted the highest AL OPS at .773.

They've mustered only four extra-base hits over the last four games (they lead the AL with 217 this season), and their Nos. 3-4-5 batters have registered five hits in that span.

Power-hitting third baseman Juan Francisco has also been experiencing a slump, dropping to No. 8 in the batting order for Tuesday's game. He was not in the lineup on Wednesday.

Francisco is hitless in his previous 15 at-bats, and since May 21 he's hitting .152 (7-for-46) with two home runs and 16 strikeouts.

"We gave him the day off," said Gibbons. "He could use it."

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for
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