KANSAS CITY -- After going 0-for-4 in the Red Sox' 4-3 win over the Royals, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez dismissed any notion that his recent struggles at the plate were being caused by the stiff neck referenced by Sox manager Terry Francona prior to Wednesday's game at Fenway Park.
"The neck has been fine," Gonzalez said. "It's something that flared up right before Chicago [July 30], when we were playing [Kansas City] in the day game [July 28]. It flared up the next day and it has been getting better ever since. It created a couple of mechanical things I've been working through."
After his three groundouts and one strikeout, Gonzalez has now gone four straight games without a hit. Prior to current stretch, the first baseman had only gone hitless in back-to-back games three times all season.
"I'm not hitting because my swing isn't good right now, not because of my neck," he explained.
Gonzalez has also hit just one home run since July 8. It's a power outage that has come under much scrutiny, leading Francona to offer a possible explanation.
"I think he still feels it, but I think every player in the league right now probably isn't perfect, that is just the way it is," Francona said. "Especially guys that play every inning of every game."
Added Francona: "It may have cut into his power a little bit. You play and you continue to play, if there is ever a chance and we could get him a day off we'd probably do it, but it is not the time to do it right now."
Gonzalez surmised the problems he is having at the plate are now a product of bad habits formed from fighting through his injury, and not the injury itself.
"You always go through injuries. Injuries are usually the reason you create bad habits, and then after that once you get better you try to battle out of it, you get to a point where you feel good and you start going on a good streak," he said. "That's how the game goes. It's a long season, so it's not hard not to go through it. It's a long season. The only thing that matters is that I'm feeling good when the playoffs come around."
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