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Izturis rises to No. 2 position in batting order

MLB.com

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays might have finally found their No. 2 hitter while Jose Reyes is out with a strained hamstring.

Toronto manager John Gibbons promoted Maicer Izturis to second in the order for Wednesday night's 7-3 win over the Astros. The veteran infielder responded by going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk, and he was one of the main catalysts on offense.

Full Game Coverage

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays might have finally found their No. 2 hitter while Jose Reyes is out with a strained hamstring.

Toronto manager John Gibbons promoted Maicer Izturis to second in the order for Wednesday night's 7-3 win over the Astros. The veteran infielder responded by going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk, and he was one of the main catalysts on offense.

Full Game Coverage

Izturis began the season in a platoon at second base with rookie Ryan Goins but all of a sudden it appears as though he will be getting the bulk of that workload. His spot in the two-hole also seems secure at least for now.

"Yeah, ride it," Gibbons said after the win. "Izzy's always been able to hit his whole career, he has been a good solid Major League player and he's hot right now. So ride it, ride it, ride it while it lasts. He's just a good baseball player and he's playing some pretty good second base, too."

Izturis now has multiple hits in all but two of his seven games this season. He leads the Blue Jays with a .455 average (10-for-22) and has been one of the biggest surprises this season following a disappointing 2013 campaign that saw him hit just .236 in 107 games.

The 33-year-old also appears more agile in the field and has displayed increased range up the middle. One key behind his turnaround could be the fact that he appears to be in much better shape than he was at this time last season.

Gibbons didn't want to get into specifics, but he alluded to that fact prior to Wednesday night's game.

"He came into camp in better shape this year, really focused, and he has done a nice job," Gibbons said. "He made a couple of nice plays [Tuesday] night at second base and that's good, too ... He just looks better this year."

With Izturis starting at second base against the Astros, Goins shifted over to shortstop while Jonathan Diaz was kept out of the lineup. Typically, the Blue Jays have gone with Diaz at shortstop and Izturis at second base vs. lefties, with Diaz at shortstop and Goins at second vs righties.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB.

 

Toronto Blue Jays, Maicer Izturis