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Barnes plans to take full advantage of speed

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NEW YORK -- In an effort to take better advantage of his speed, Astros outfielder Brandon Barnes has been asked to show bunt more by manager Bo Porter. Even if Barnes doesn't bunt, Porter says putting the idea into the minds of the defense can be beneficial.

"If you're a guy that can, there's no way you don't at least show bunt a couple of times," Porter said. "Any time you get the fielders to move up and give up a portion of their range, from a hitter's standpoint, that's to their advantage."

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Barnes, who's starting in right field against left-handers -- Rick Ankiel starts against right-handers -- has taken the advice to heart and has shown bunt on occasion.

"It's just one of those things to bring the third baseman in, and it opens up some holes," Barnes said. "It's another weapon in my pocket I can use any time that's nice to have."

In Monday's lineup against the Yankees for his ninth start of the season, Barnes entered the game hitting .375 with one homer and two RBIs, and he boosted his stats with a two-run double in the fourth inning and an RBI single the following frame.

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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