Carter gets day off from lineup amid slump

Carter gets day off from lineup amid slump

HOUSTON -- Left fielder/designated hitter Chris Carter was out of the starting lineup Sunday for the first time this season, but manager Bo Porter said it had nothing to do with his 0-for-13 slump that had dropped his batting average to .219.

With Fernando Martinez being activated from the disabled list, Porter started Martinez, a left-handed bat, in left field against Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. Even so, Carter said the timing of the day off was good.

"It's a good day to relax and clear your mind," he said.

After a six-game stretch in which he batted .462 (12-for-26) with four homers and seven RBIs and was as locked in as you can get, Carter has gone 1-for-19 with no homers and two RBIs in the six games since, entering Sunday.

"You look at the last couple of games and he's starting to expand the zone a little bit more," Porter said. "We had that conversation and I told him, 'You have to get back to getting pitches you know you can handle and not expand your strike zone.'"

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for 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.