ST. LOUIS -- Jon Jay had dug himself into a hole while batting .190 over the first 14 games of July, prompting Cardinals manager Mike Matheny to give him the day off on Friday. After spending some extra time in the cages on his off-day and going back to the basics, Jay seems to be back on track.
The Cardinals' center fielder collected a career-high four hits on Sunday in a 7-0 win over Chicago, including a two-run double in the first inning. Jay also knocked in two against the Cubs on Saturday and had back-to-back multi-RBI games for the first time this year.
"I always want the approach of, 'I'd rather get through it in the games,'" said Jay, who brought his average up to .304 on the year. "But sometimes the best thing to do is take a step back. That's what I did [Friday]."
Each of Jay's four hits Sunday went to left field and came against left-handers. He said he knows he is doing things right when he can drive the ball to the opposite field. Jay has been hitting lefties well this season, batting .327 in 49 at-bats.
Jay had missed more than a month starting in mid-May with a sore right shoulder, and is batting .253 since returning from the disabled list on June 22.
While Matheny believes Jay was struggling to find his timing on his swing, Jay said he couldn't figure out what was going on but did feel more confident at the plate the last two days.
"You know how baseball is," Jay said. "Some days you get pitches to hit, some days you don't. Sometimes the balls fall for you. You just have to take the good with the bad and that's what I've been doing. I understand that I got four hits today, but tomorrow's a new day and there's a lot games left, and I have to be ready for them all."