Speedster Bourn works to improve bunting

Speedster Bourn works to improve bunting

HOUSTON -- Wanting center fielder Michael Bourn to take better advantage of his speed, Astros manager Brad Mills sat Bourn down Monday afternoon and had him watch video of a player from another team putting down a bunt in a game that was played on Sunday.

"We kept playing it over and over and slowed it down and saw the technique and how he might apply some of that technique," Mills said. "Not that he needs to go to that, but with his tools being his wheels, if he can advantage of that would be outstanding."

Bourn had put down 15 bunts in his first 415 at-bats this year, with six hits and three sacrifice hits. That's well shy of his pace from a year ago, when he put down 37 bunts in 606 at-bats and had 17 hits and five sacrifice bunts.

"People consider me a good bunter, but I don't consider myself that great of a bunter," Bourn said. "I think I've got a lot to work on. I can get them down sometimes and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I go through a phase and I might get three or four down in a row. The consistency of bunting, that's the biggest key. I haven't found one little niche that works every time."

Bourn, who entered Monday in an 0-for-13 streak that saw his batting average (.248) and on-base percentage (.325) drop, was out of the lineup Monday against a left-handed starting pitcher. Bourn had just four hits in his previous 25 at-bats.