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Will Middlebrooks on early struggles: ‘I’m beating myself’

04.18.13 at 4:53 pm ET

Talking to reporters prior to the Red Sox‘€™ series finale in Cleveland, Will Middlebrooks discussed not being in the lineup against right-hander Zach McAllister.

It is the first day off for Middlebrooks, who is hitting .182, having struck out 18 times while drawing three walks.

‘€œOf course I want to play. I don’€™t like sitting out,’€ the third baseman told reporters. ‘€œBut I can see where this could help to clear my head and get back at it. The team’€™s done great. The team’€™s picked me up. The pitching’€™s picked me up. I tell the guys, ‘€˜I’€™ll go out there and play defense for you guys. Just keep hitting.’€™ They’€™ve had my back. They’€™ve picked me up. I’€™m just doing whatever I can to help us out.’€

Since his 4-for-5, three-home run game in Toronto April 7, Middlebrooks is 2-for-30 with one RBI.

‘€œI’€™m just not hitting the ball, man,’€ he said. ‘€œI’€™m not going to get too down about it. I understand it’€™s part of the game. We’€™re 15 games in. ‘€¦ I’€™m not too worried about it.’€

He added, ‘€œI’€™m not going to change my routine. I’€™m not going to change my approach. I’€™m not going to change my bats. It’€™s’€™ 30 at-bats. I’€™m not worried about it. ‘€¦ I don’€™t see anything. I think that’€™s when you dig yourself into a deeper hole, when you start trying to change things ‘€“ especially mechanics. I’€™m not even going to worry about that.’€

Middlebrooks has totaled 322 major-league at-bats, hitting .270 with an .804 OPS. Perhaps most impressive is that the Red Sox are 53-36 with him in the lineup.

‘€œI’€™m not overmatched,’€ he said. ‘€œI’€™m not getting beat by pitchers. I’€™m beating myself. It’€™s just something I’€™ve got to get through.’€

Pedro Ciriaco replaces Middlebrooks in the starting lineup, hitting ninth.

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