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Jay surging at the plate in August

MILWAUKEE -- Jon Jay entered Monday hitting .377 in August and leading the National League with 26 hits in the month, many of them important ones for the Cardinals.

His 27th hit on Monday was a big one, too.

Jay launched a tiebreaking two-run home run -- his seventh of the year -- to left-center field in the sixth inning to help the Cardinals to a 4-2 lead in their eventual 8-5 win over the Brewers at Miller Park.

"That's two big ones for us, opposite field like that," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, referring to Jay's three-run homer on Sunday in the Cardinal's 6-1 win over the Cubs. "He's got something really good going. Just like to see it continue for a couple months."

Jay has a .273 batting average, 20 points above the .253 mark he entered August with. He said recent mechanical changes with hitting coach John Mabry have contributed to his success.

"Just playing one day at a time," Jay said. "Just figure out a way to put the barrel on the ball more consistently. Working hard every day and trying to win some guys."

Jay entered August with 14 doubles and 39 RBIs in 409 plate appearances, but he has eight doubles and 17 RBIs in 73 at-bats this month. His on-base percentage was up from .331 to .346 and his slugging percentage rose from .346 to .382.

But Matheny said you would never be able to tell how well its going for the 28-year-old center fielder just by looking at him.

"You go up and you talk to Jon Jay every day and you can't tell if he's eight for his last eight or oh-for his last 12," Matheny said. "That's a great quality as a younger guy in our premium position like he is in center field. He brings that every single day."

Matheny said Jay has been pivotal to the Cardinals push this month, and has resembled the hitter who hit .305 for the team in 2012.

"We need everybody pulling their weight and everybody doing their part in order for us to be as good as we can be, and Jon's doing his part," Matheny said. "With that, we know there's going to be ups and downs offensively, but … he is that hitter we saw last year. Hitting over .300 and putting together tough at-bats for us. And we know what kind of defender he is, so he's continuing to build himself into the kind of player that he should be, and right now he's just on a good run."

Kevin Massoth is an associate reporter for
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