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Adams could use bunts to battle infield shifts

Adams could use bunts to battle infield shifts

ST. LOUIS -- A day after the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo exploited the defensive shift by twice bunting down the third-base line for a base hit, left-handed hitting Matt Adams was among four participants in the Cardinals' early afternoon bunting session led by assistant hitting coach David Bell.

What Rizzo did to combat the shift -- and ultimately force the Cardinals out of it -- is something that the Cardinals would also like Adams to try in an effort to take advantage of teams shifting him to the right side of the field.

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"It's absolutely there for you," manager Mike Matheny said. "I know that the Cubs were very happy to [have Rizzo] do it, especially on the second time when it cost us a run with a two-run homer instead of [what would have been] a solo shot by [Starlin] Castro. Starting the game 2-for-2, no matter how you get it, is a beautiful thing. It's something [Adams] needs to be able to do or pull off whenever he can."

Rizzo's first bunt single came with two out in the first inning and stirred a brief rally. His second time up, he reached just before Castro went deep.

"I almost made them pay twice for it," Rizzo said. "[Michael] Wacha's a great pitcher and you get him in the stretch and try to maybe throw him off a little bit. If teams are going to give me that, I'll take it all the time."

Adams bunted for a base hit twice during Spring Training but has yet to execute the play against the shift this season.

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.

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