Gibbons wants more patience as bats improve

Gibbons wants more patience as bats improve

BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays have yet to find any type of prolonged consistency at the plate, but they've at least begun to find a way to climb back into games after falling behind.

Toronto overcame a two-run deficit in the sixth inning of Sunday's game against the Yankees en route to an 8-4 victory. The day before, the club forced extra innings by rallying from a three-run deficit in the eighth.

There's still plenty of work to be done for a club that projected to have one of the best offenses in the league, but at least there have been some recent signs of life.

"I think we're really close to it all coming together," manager John Gibbons said. "But until you actually do that, it's talk."

The Blue Jays have managed to put together back-to-back games of four or more runs just once this season. They scored four-plus from April 4-6, but have been unable to put everything together since.

A lot of the issues stem from a lack of patience at the plate. Toronto has a group of free swingers, and that's unlikely to change, but the issue becomes more glaring during a period of extended struggles.

The Blue Jays are hitting .256 (20-for-78) when making contact during the first pitch of an at-bat. Understandably, the numbers increase in hitters' counts, but the club has walked only 54 times, which ranks 10th in the American League.

"I think hitters are what they are, their mentality, their style," Gibbons said. "Usually, the guys that are very aggressive at the plate, there's probably no time in their career that they've been a disciplined hitter.

"But it makes it easier to come back when you fall down, 'Hey, we need to get baserunners on to make something happen anyways.' If you're down a few runs, a solo homer isn't going to do much for you."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.