Story surging with renewed mental approach

July 26th, 2017

ST. LOUIS -- Rockies shortstop 's improved two-strike approach paid off again Tuesday night, this time on an eighth-inning leadoff homer that tied the game before the Cardinals walked off in the ninth with a 3-2 win.

Story popped 's 1-2 two-seam fastball into the visitors' bullpen in left field for his 14th homer of the season. In his last nine games, Story is hitting .310 (9-for-29) with three home runs and 10 RBIs. He has hits in six of his last eight contests.

Over those eight games, Story is hitting .278 (5-for-18) with two homers, a double and a .667 slugging percentage with two strikes. By comparison, MLB players have a .176 batting average and .282 slugging percentage with two strikes. Story also struck out twice Tuesday and has nine strikeouts in the last eight games, but he's connecting big.

Neither Story nor manager Bud Black believe he's "shortening up" -- adopting a more protective swing -- with two strikes. But it was the right swing against Bowman -- who struck out Story in their only previous meeting.

"It's really just more of just a mental adjustment, which shows up physical for me a lot of times," Story said. "Obviously, it's not 100 percent where I want it to be, but it's getting better."