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Bogaerts looking to shake out of offensive funk

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Xander Bogaerts, Boston's rookie shortstop, entered Tuesday night's game in an offensive funk, with just one hit in his previous 16 at-bats.

Manager John Farrell didn't dispute the notion that Bogaerts, as gifted as he is, might be overdoing things a bit of late.

"There have been times where he's put some added pressure on himself, particularly when men have been on base, where he's been not as patient and taking the same trusting approach as when he's been at the plate with the bases empty," said Farrell. "We've talked about it before with the young guys, just continuing to provide the opportunities so that they learn and grow through them. That's where we are with Xander."

Bogaerts had recently been getting most of his starts in the sixth spot in the batting order. He flip-flopped with A.J. Pierzynski on Tuesday and batted seventh.

"I still think, overall, he's seeing pitches, he's putting up quality at-bats, he's taking his walks when needed," Farrell said. "We want to be careful that, as we break up the right-handers, Jackie [Bradley] is in the 9-hole and provides that for us."

Bogaerts has just one homer on the season.

"I see a true line-drive stroke," Farrell said. "I think he's going to grow into a power hitter. That comes with reps and at-bats at this level. There's plenty of power in there. You see it. That will come in time. Power to me is the thing that comes last for those who possess the raw strength in their swing."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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