LOS ANGELES -- When Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez kept Tyler Pastornicky out of the starting lineup for three consecutive games, the rookie shortstop did not allow the decision to shake his confidence. Instead, he took advantage of an opportunity to clear his head and refine his swing mechanics.
The results proved promising, as Pastornicky returned to the Braves lineup on Tuesday night and produced the first three-hit performance of his young career. His ninth-inning leadoff single against Dodgers closer Javy Guerra put him in position to score the game's decisive run.
"It's one of those things where I kind of put myself in that slump," Pastornicky said. "I don't think it was one of those physical things that I changed or did. I think it was just pressing. I thought I swung the bat well in the first week and then I think I started to try to do too much after that, rather than just going out there and letting it happen."
Before Pastornicky raised his batting average from .171 to .227 (10-for-44) with Tuesday's 3-for-3 performance, Chipper Jones told him to just play the game the way he had during his Minor League days. The 22-year-old shortstop had never played in the Majors before this year.
"All a kid like that needs is confidence," Jones said. "Hopefully [Tuesday night] will propel him."