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Fowler finding stroke again after slump

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DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler has shown a gradual rebound after slumping for the early part of May.

Fowler hit .305 with eight home runs and 15 RBIs in April before a slide that saw his average drop to .252 on May 16. Since then, however, Fowler has hit .348 with four doubles and a .455 on-base percentage over 12 games.

The switch-hitting Fowler has had periods of heavy strikeouts at various times, but in five games going into Thursday night against the Astros, he had walked seven times against just one strikeout.

"It's a good sign [when] he's drawing walks," manager Walt Weiss said. "That is a part of his game. He's always been a high on-base guy, so the fact that he's not expanding the zone and he's taking walks is a good sign."

Weiss has used Fowler in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots in the order, dropping the center fielder to second when Eric Young Jr. has started. Fowler's results have been far better at leadoff (.293 average, .412 on-base percentage in 26 games) than at No. 2 (.250, .333 in 20 games), but Weiss said he will continue to lean toward his usual plan when Young starts.

"I think Dexter is capable of getting on base and doing his thing, regardless where he is in the lineup," Weiss said.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Ian McCue

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