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Struggling Wallace gets mental break

Struggling Wallace gets mental break

SEATTLE -- Brett Wallace, take the day off. That was the message Astros manager Bo Porter delivered on Wednesday to the first baseman, who went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts during the team's 22-hit outburst a night earlier. Wallace is 1-for-21 with 17 strikeouts this season.

"Sometimes you need to take a step back," Porter said. "You can be trying so hard with extra work and video and reading game reports and over analyzing each and every at-bat to where you probably need to take a step back. We're going to give him the day off, we have an off-day on Thursday, and Friday send him back in there. I think the results are going to be in a more positive light for Brett."

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Wallace singled in his second at-bat of the season on March 31 against the Rangers, but has gone 0-for-19 with 16 strikeouts since.

"I think the thing that's kind of crazy is swing-wise, I feel pretty good and my swing feels like it's not that far off," he said. "It's just timing and contact point adjustments that need to be made. I think that's one of the things you just have to keep your head down and keep working, and the more at-bats you get, you see the ball travel and let it get a little deeper and go from there."

Wallace, who hit .273 in the spring with 14 strikeouts in 73 at-bats, said hitting is about feel for him. He says one solid swing, one solid piece of contact and barreling up the ball could be all that's needed to break him out of his slump.

"My batting practice and all my work before and after has been good and my swing feels good," he said. "I feel I'm where I need to be, and it's a matter of getting one or two swings that feel good and being able to repeat it."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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