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Viciedo trying to kick way out of hitting slump

Viciedo trying to kick way out of hitting slump

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HOUSTON -- It's easy to classify Dayan Viciedo's offensive struggles, featured in a 4-for-46 slump prior to Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays, as the young hitter trying to pull the ball too much.

But changing that pattern isn't always as simple as it sounds for the aggressive left fielder. There's no question Viciedo is aware of the problem, mentioned by manager Robin Ventura, and trying to adjust. He had two singles up the middle during Tuesday night's 7-5 loss in 10 innings and made two outs going the other way.

"The key is to hit the ball middle the other way, hit the ball in the gaps. That's what I'm concentrating on right now," Viciedo said through translator and White Sox coach Lino Diaz. "It's more a mental thing.

"Sometimes you lose track, and it's a matter of challenging yourself to ask yourself to stay in the gaps and hit the ball the other way. It's something that can definitely be fixed."

A leg kick was put into Viciedo's swing during Spring Training to help him focus on staying back more at the plate and being able to use the whole field. Viciedo has tried to employ that swing maneuver, but he has not put it into action as frequently as he would like.

"At times, I don't even realize I'm not using it," Viciedo said. "I'm not consistent with it, but it's a matter of feeling good and applying all that into my swing. But I'm trying it."

Viciedo finished 0-for-4 Friday.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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