Adams swinging a hot bat since his callup

Adams swinging a hot bat since his callup

Adams swinging a hot bat since his callup
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals rookie first baseman Matt Adams played in his sixth Major League game on Friday night and produced his third multihit game with a career-high three hits.

Adams had two doubles and scored a run in the Cards' 5-3 loss to the Phillies in 10 innings.

"I felt like the barrel was finding the ball tonight," Adams said after the game. "Before the game, [hitting coach Mark McGwire] and I watched some video and he showed me that [Phillies starter Cliff] Lee likes to stay hard against lefties. That's what I was looking for. I was looking for something hard out over the plate. First at-bat, he left a sinker up a little bit. Next at-bat was a cutter that was up a little bit."

After six games, the left-handed-hitting first baseman is hitting .318 (7-for-22) with three doubles, one RBI, two runs scored, a .375 on-base percentage, .455 slugging percentage and .830 OPS.

"I think he's matured in the last year," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He makes a jump and does what he did at Double-A, and I had the opportunity to see him in A-ball, too. You could see him mature as a hitter.

"I think what we saw in Spring Training really kind of validated that he's real close. He had a good start at Triple-A that gave him that confidence that he can do it. The test is gonna be when you get here and then you have to figure out if you can stay ahead of the challenges that they are going to give you, because they are going to continue to learn about you and find your holes and try to capitalize on your weaknesses, and you have to learn to fight and stick to your strengths."

The 23-year-old, who was 23rd-round selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, hit .300 or better in each of his stops in the Minor Leagues. He was hitting .340 with 10 doubles, nine homers and 27 RBIs in 37 games for Triple-A Memphis this year before getting the callup.

Adams has shown to be a quick study at the Major League level.

"Everybody out there is tough," Adams said. "[Phillies starter Joe] Blanton had good stuff [Thursday] night. We faced Lee [on Friday], and we've got two more tough pitchers with [Kyle] Kendrick and [Roy] Halladay coming up. I feel like, up here, there's really no break. You have to be on top of your game every single game."

But Adams is feeling more and more comfortable.

"I feel comfortable going up there and being able to have good [at-bats] against these guys, and the film room is definitely helping out a lot -- seeing what their tendencies are with left-handed hitters," he said.

His three hits on Friday night show that he has already proven to be a smart hitter.

"I think he's going about it the right way, but you're going to see some of the smartest hitters still get suckered out of their approach," Matheny said. "He's going to have to make quick adjustments. That's the name of this game."