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Bay wasn't in the lineup Monday, marking for the first time that has happened since September 4, 2004. Bay's streak of 307 consecutive games played ended after he strained his right hamstring while stretching before Sunday's game against St. Louis. It was the fourth-longest active streak in the majors.
Bay was selected to his second All-Star team Sunday and will start in the outfield for the National League. He is hitting .281 with 20 homers and 57 RBIs this season.
Bay is the first Pirate since Brian Giles in 2002 to have 20 homers before the All-Star break. Giles had 22 while Bay has 20 through 71 games so far. The left fielder is hitting .300 with 53 RBIs and seems a sure bet to make the All-Star game this season in his home stadium of PNC Park.
Bay extended his home run streak to six games with a solo shot in the Pirates' 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Houston Astros on Sunday. The left fielder is hitting 13-for-26 (.500) with seven homers, 15 RBIs and 11 runs in the last six games. He has 10 home runs and 23 RBIs in the last 10 games.
Bay went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs in the Pirates' 8-7 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday. He is 12-for-28 (.429) with seven homers, 14 RBIs and nine runs in the last seven games.
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Bay agreed to terms on a four-year, $18.25 million deal Thursday. The Pirates' left fielder is now signed through his arbitration-eligible years. In 2005, Bay batted .306 with 32 home runs and 101 RBIs in his second full season in the majors.
Bay has hit safely in nine of 10 games in August, including a 3-for-4 performance in Thursday's victory over the Colorado Rockies. For the month, the Pirates' outfielder is 15-for-38 (.395) with three home runs, 13 RBI and five stolen bases.
Despite, the swelling, array of colors and a noticeable limp, Bay says he expects to play through a leg contusion he suffered when he fouled a pitch off the inside of his left knee on Monday. The Pirates' left fielder fouled off the pitch in the fifth inning, and he departed in the sixth for X-rays, which were negative.
Bay's recent struggles at the plate continued in Monday's loss to the Houston Astros, as he went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a pair of walks. The Pirates' All-Star outfielder has notched just two hits in his last 33 at-bats, seeing his batting average plummet more than 20 points.
Bay went 3-for-4 with a double, two home runs and four RBI in Sunday's extra-inning victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates' outfielder, who hit a three-run homer in the third inning before connecting for a solo shot in the ninth, now has five multihomer games in his major league career.
Bay extended his current hitting streak to nine games, belting a home run in Tuesday's win over the San Francisco Giants. Over that span, the Pirates' outfielder is 15-for-39 (.385) with three doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI despite striking out 11 times.
The 2004 National League Rookie of the Year, Bay is batting .315 with six homers, 17 RBI and two stolen bases in 32 games this season. He will continue to serve as one of the Pirates' top run producers and a solid fantasy option.
Bay, who had just two hits in his previous 18 at-bats, broke out of his minor slump by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and his first home run of the 2005 campaign in Thursday's victory over the Cincinnati Reds. The Pirates' outfielder finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Bay missed more than three weeks of spring training with a bruised left wrist, so a slow start to the regular season was almost expected. Once he gets back in stride, he should start to produce as well as in 2004, when he batted .282 with 26 home runs, 82 RBI and four stolen bases in 120 games.