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CarGo challenging himself to be more patient vs. D-backs

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PHOENIX -- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez entered Thursday night with strong career numbers against the D-backs -- a .322 batting average with 14 home runs and 36 RBIs in 202 at-bats.

However, during the Rockies' three-game sweep of the D-backs last week at Coors Field, Gonzalez managed to go just 2-for 13 with a double and three RBIs. Gonzalez began his pro career with the D-backs before being traded to the Athletics for pitcher Dan Haren. The Athletics sent him to the Rockies while acquiring Matt Holliday.

Gonzalez challenged himself to exercise the patience it takes to turn the tables back in his favor.

"That's the hard part of this game in the big leagues," Gonzalez said. "It's always a balance. If you hit well against a team, the next year is going to get tougher and tougher. They've been pitching me very carefully, and now I've got to get to my adjustment and start hitting them again.

"You've seen sometimes even when I'm ahead in the count and there's a fastball situation, they throw me breaking balls and pitches in the dirt. They'll throw a 3-1 breaking ball in the dirt and I'll chase. It should be a walk. But that's where they're taking me. That has been the strategy: 'If he's ready to walk, he'll walk. If he's ready to hit, he's not going to hit it hard.' So it's my turn to do something."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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