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'New attitude' paying off for Mookie

Since missing two games with back injury, center fielder catching fire

KANSAS CITY -- Ever since center fielder Mookie Betts slammed face-first into an outfield wall chasing a fly ball back on June 12, everything about his offense has grown more appealing.

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"I'm not going to try it again," Betts said, smiling, after the Red Sox's 7-3 victory over the Royals on Friday night. "But I guess having a couple days off, I got myself together and came out with a new attitude."

Betts, who missed two games with a strained back, went a career-best 4-for-5 at the plate with an RBI on Friday. He is now batting .609 (14-for-23) in his last six games.

In six games prior to getting hurt, Betts was just 2-for-17 with one double and two RBIs. Betts' four-hit outing upped his average to .267.

Video: [email protected]: Betts leaves game with back strain

"It's more mental than anything physical,'' said Betts. "I got a chance to talk to some guys, talk a little more in detail. Since I had days off, I had a chance to watch and analyze how [Dustin] Pedroia and [David Ortiz] and those guys do it, [then] trying to do it my way.''

Betts was also on the winning side of Boston's first challenge of the night, which gave him a hit in his first at-bat. He has now hit safely in each of his last seven games.

"I know he's done a lot of work with trying to stay on top of the ball and hit more line drives, and I think we're seeing that payoff," manager John Farrell said. "He was dealing with some frustration. ... To his credit, he didn't get down on himself and continues to put up good at-bats."

Jordan Wilson is an associate reporter for
Read More: Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts