Gaston shuffles Hill to eighth in lineup

Gaston shuffles Hill to eighth in lineup

TORONTO -- Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston dropped Aaron Hill to the eighth spot of the batting order on Wednesday, hoping the change might take some pressure off the slumping second baseman.

"I'm just trying to get him somewhere comfortable," Gaston said. "I've been watching the last week, two weeks, three weeks and he's come up in those spots that have really been sometimes crucial spots.

"That might be tough on him right now, because he's struggling really bad as far as trying to find his swing and getting back to where he was before. I thought I'd move him down."

Entering Wednesday, Hill was stuck in an 0-for-20 skid at the plate and was hitting .151 with no home runs and three RBIs over his past 14 games. That follows a stretch during which Hill showed some offensive life, hitting .302 with seven homers and 15 RBIs over 22 games.

Gaston moved All-Star catcher John Buck up to the sixth spot, which had been occupied by Hill since June 24. Hill, who hit .286 with 36 homers and 108 RBIs last season for the Blue Jays, opened this season as the second hitter in Toronto's lineup. Overall, he has hit .206 with 18 homers and 48 RBIs in 105 games.

Gaston did not believe the move to the eight-hole would hurt Hill's confidence.

"No, I don't think so," Gaston said. "I'm just hoping that will help him relax a little bit."