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Blue Jays notebook: Richard Urena making strong first impression

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TORONTO – A slash line of .249/.291/.364 at double-A New Hampshire didn’t exactly force Richard Urena’s way up to the big leagues. But with three more hits, including a walk-off single off all-star closer Zach Britton in Tuesday night’s 3-2 comeback win over the Baltimore Orioles, the rookie shortstop continues to make a strong first impression on the Toronto Blue Jays.

“It’s not too far different from double-A in the major leagues,” Urena said through interpreter Josue Peley in trying to explain his success since his Sept. 1 call-up. “The only difference here is that they have more control of where the pitches are going and I can put better swings on pitches around the zone and not all over the place the way it is in double-A.”

Improving his pitch selection was a point of emphasis this season for the 21-year-old, who is known for being a free-swinger. Still, he’d performed relatively well in the minors until this year, which lowered his career minor-league slash line to .277/.320/.404.

Over nine games and 34 plate appearances with the Blue Jays – a sample size you shouldn’t draw conclusions from – he’s batting .324/.395/.471.

“The zone here in the big leagues is a little bit more........

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