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Gibbons shrugs off Blue Jays' slow offensive start

Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays have struggled at the plate throughout the first two weeks of this season, but manager John Gibbons wants his players to avoid pressing too much.

Toronto came into Friday's series opener with the Orioles tied with the Yankees and Rays for first place in the American League East at 5-5, but the offense has been a problem so far this season as the Blue Jays were ranked next-to-last in the American League with a .223 team batting average.

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BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays have struggled at the plate throughout the first two weeks of this season, but manager John Gibbons wants his players to avoid pressing too much.

Toronto came into Friday's series opener with the Orioles tied with the Yankees and Rays for first place in the American League East at 5-5, but the offense has been a problem so far this season as the Blue Jays were ranked next-to-last in the American League with a .223 team batting average.

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Houston is last at .203 while Baltimore sits third at .274.

Gibbons said everything is kind of magnified at the beginning of the season, but he wants all of his players to stay focused even if they start slowly.

"A fast start's so important to everybody, but it doesn't necessarily determine what kind of year you're going to have," Gibbons said. "If you start worrying about that and you start panicking, that's when you'll run into big problems."

Colby Rasmus is one of the players who needs to stay settled. He went 3-for-4 on Thursday against the Astros after beginning the season hitting only .100 (3-for-30), which made the skipper happy because he said Rasmus tends to be a streaky hitter anyway.

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com.

Toronto Blue Jays