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Success vs. Strasburg boosts Rutledge's confidence

Success vs. Strasburg boosts Rutledge's confidence

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Success vs. Strasburg boosts Rutledge's confidence

WASHINGTON -- It didn't seem Friday was a good night for second baseman Josh Rutledge to be in the starting lineup.

Rutledge was 1-for-22 since being recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs, and he was facing Nationals righty Stephen Strasburg, who clearly has regained his groove since a stint on the 15-day disabled list with a lat issue. All Rutledge did was knock two hits, plus reach on a hit batsman.

The season started with Rutledge as the regular second baseman, but the Rockies sent him down in late May because they thought he was putting too much pressure on himself. A 1-for-22 tested his ability to keep results in perspective.

"You can prepare all you want, but in the end, you can only control what you can," Rutledge said. "If you're having some at-bats where you're hitting the ball hard and it's not finding holes, you have to trust that it's going to turn around and just stick with it.

"Last night was something to build on. Strasburg is one of those guys who can take control of the game. To have success against a pitcher like that definitely boosts your confidence."

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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