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Elmore to start playing more outfield

Elmore to start playing more outfield

Elmore to start playing more outfield

HOUSTON -- The arrival of Jonathan Villar as the starting shortstop means Jake Elmore will need to bring a few extra gloves to the ballpark. Elmore went 1-for-3 in Monday's 4-3 loss to Oakland and started in left field -- his fifth appearance there this year.

"I feel good out there," he said. "I take balls off the bat in the outfield pretty much every day. I take ground balls early, and then I go out to the outfield and take them off the bat. I played a lot of outfield in college, center field and left. It's about you getting out there and keeping everything in front of you. Obviously, that's easier said than done, but I feel pretty confident."

Elmore had started at shortstop in 13 of the Astros' previous 17 games, but he struggled defensively at times. He entered Monday hitting .274, including .368 against lefties with a .429 on-base percentage. He was recalled from Triple-A on June 25.

Elmore, 26, has been an on-base machine in the Minor Leagues, with a career .387 mark in parts of six seasons. This year with Triple-A Oklahoma City, he was hitting .300 with 42 runs scored, 13 doubles, 30 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and a .383 on-base percentage in 69 games. He played primarily second base for the RedHawks, but had seen time in the outfield, shortstop and third base.

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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