CINCINNATI -- Four days after being hit three times in a game against Arizona, Matt Carpenter took another pitch off his body in the Cardinals' 4-2 loss to the Reds on Saturday.
The four hit-by-pitches have come in the span of 27 plate appearances. Previous to this stretch, Carpenter had been plunked only four times in the first 602 plate appearances of his big league career.
The sudden uptick can likely be explained by the recent change in the way Carpenter is being pitched. He has been seeing more inside fastballs, opponents' way of trying to combat the success Carpenter has had in taking outside pitches to the opposite field.
"That's the way, really, baseball always goes," Carpenter said. "It's cat-and-mouse. If you start hitting the ball the other way for a while, they'll come in. And then after coming in for a while, they'll go back away. It's just par for the course."
The change in game plan, however, has done little to slow Carpenter down. He enters Sunday riding a career-high 17-game hitting streak, the second-longest active streak in the Majors. He's reached base safely in 37 of the 40 games he has started as a leadoff hitter and leads the team with 25 multihit games.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.