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Adams could use bunts to battle infield shifts

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Adams could use bunts to battle infield shifts play video for 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.

"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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