Lee shakes off slow start, seeks power stroke

Lee shakes off slow start, seeks power stroke

ARLINGTON -- Astros slugger Carlos Lee has brushed off his second consecutive slow start at the plate, entering Tuesday's game against the Rangers batting .313 since May 1. He dug himself a hole by hitting .194 in April but hit .316 in May and was at .310 in June through Monday.

"This game is hard to explain," he said. "I was talking to Michael Bourn a few days ago and I said, 'What's the difference between now and April?' In Spring Training, we get plenty of at-bats and work hard and do everything to prepare yourself for the season.

"It's been two years in a row. I don't know if I'm thinking about it or pressing myself to start good or trying to do too much. Right now, I feel where I need to be. I'm seeing the ball good. I've been hitting a lot of balls hard. I'm hitting line drives. I can't explain why I can't get the ball in the air."

Lee, who has averaged 30 home runs and at least 100 RBIs per season in his career, has only five home runs at nearly the midpoint of the season. But he feels confident the home runs will come.

"I think I'm still cutting off the swing just a tad and instead of getting the carry on the ball and the ball's staying low," he said. "It's funny how it works. I could come and hit plenty of them in one month and get right back on track."

Astros manager Brad Mills is pleased Lee is putting better swings on balls.

"I just think with the type of hitter that he is, if he continues to have good swings, he'll hit some home runs," Mills said.