CHICAGO -- Entering Saturday afternoon's game, Ben Zobrist had driven in a run in seven of his previous 12 games and in nine of his last 15. In addition, he had 19 RBIs in 25 September games.
More than any player on the Rays, Zobrist has come on strong after a tough start this season.
He hit .205 in April and .202 in May before finally breaking loose in June with a .344 month. He dipped to .237 in July, but he hit .330 in August and is hitting .297 in September.
"At the beginning of June, I was hitting under .200," Zobrist said. "Since then, things have certainly changed a lot. Turned around big time. It's been a lot better since then. A lot more of a blessed season."
Finding a way to find himself while struggling is something that might bode well for Zobrist in future seasons.
"I think I learned more about my swing this year and what works and what doesn't work," Zobrist said. "You're always going to have those those slumps. And that was one of the things [hitting coach Derek Shelton] talked to me about in June: Let's do the same things every day instead of switching up, because I was trying to find it, you know. Once I did find it, my routine has been very consistent."
Speaking of Shelton, he has taken a lot of the blame for the team's poor offense this season. Based on his experience working with Shelton, Zobrist doesn't believe the coach deserves the criticism.
"He's been great," Zobrist said. "He's as prepared as anybody on the whole team. I think as far as knowing the pitchers and what they're trying to do ... as when I say, 'What do you think about this plan that I'm thinking about taking up to the plate?' And he'll be like, 'That makes sense. Just remember this.' He's always thinking a step ahead."
Zobrist said he can't imagine a hitting coach having "any more information or a better of an idea than he has."
"It's up to us to put that plan into action and make it happen," Zobrist said. "When we struggle, it's never his fault. I think he's done a fantastic job, and you can't ask him to do any more than he has done."