Overbay picking up steam at plate

Overbay picking up steam at plate

TORONTO -- Lyle Overbay could have let his early struggles take a toll on his entire season. Instead, the Blue Jays first baseman has steadily pulled himself out of his slump over the past two months.

"It's been real big," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said on Saturday.

Along the way, Overbay has put up some impressive numbers in big situations.

Entering Saturday, Overbay was batting .357 (25-for-70) with two home runs, four doubles and eight RBIs in late-and-close situations. Such a scenario includes when the the Jays are either tied, ahead by one run or the tying run is in the on-deck circle in the seventh inning or later.

On Friday night, Overbay delivered again, slicing a run-scoring double in the seventh inning to help the Blue Jays to a 2-1 win over the Rays. Dating back to May 28, the first baseman has hit .297 with eight homers, 23 RBIs and a .380 on-base percentage for Toronto.

"He's come up in some key situations," Gaston said. "Last night, in that situation, it looked like he really got after it and he drove in the winning run. Even back when people were giving him a hard time, I think I talked about how important he was as far as playing defense for us and saving us runs.

"If he's not producing, he's playing great defense."