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Fowler looking to regain his hitting stroke

Fowler looking to regain his hitting stroke

CHICAGO -- Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler spent a beautiful 80-degree afternoon at Wrigley Field taking easy swings, hoping to regain his effectiveness.

Fowler sat out Monday night's 5-1 loss to the Cubs, but returned Tuesday and hit second, behind Eric Young Jr. Fowler often hits leadoff.

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Since suffering right hip flexor soreness and coming out of a May 3 game against the Rays, Fowler was 2-for-26 before Tuesday. The game in which he was hurt was the end of his career-best 11-game hitting streak. He also has eight home runs, five below his career high, but none have come since the bump.

Fowler sat out the day after the injury, which occurred when he collided with Rays first baseman Sean Rodriguez after a bunt attempt, and has played regularly since. Fowler, who has also fouled a pitch off his left foot and been hit by pitches on his hands and his right knee, said pain is not the problem.

"I don't think the injury had anything to do with it," Fowler said. "I think maybe the time off did. I'll see if I can get back into the swing of things. When it clicks, it's going to click."

Fowler and Rockies hitting coach Dante Bichette said Fowler has ideas of what will bring his swing back, and he worked on those Tuesday afternoon. Several other Rockies participated, such as Nolan Arenado, Jordan Pacheco, Josh Rutledge and Charlie Blackmon.

"It's a loose time to try things," Bichette said. "It's not in your 'routine' time. Your routine time is preparation for the game. It's tough to try things in regular batting practice, because you're trying to get ready for the game. Early hitting is time to work on something in a relaxed atmosphere."

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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