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Scuffling Bourn remains confident during playoff push

Scuffling Bourn remains confident during playoff push

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Scuffling Bourn remains confident during playoff push

CHICAGO -- Michael Bourn is quick to point out just how long he's been slumping at the plate recently, but he also said before Thursday's series opener against the White Sox that experience tells him he'll come out of it.

"I'd say I've [been slumping at the plate] the last month and a half," Bourn said. "I always believe that I can come out of it any given day. That's how I look at it. … I take it one day at a time and I just grind away."

Going into Thursday's opener in Chicago, Bourn was hitting .211 since the All-Star break, compared to a .290 clip in the first half. The leadoff man said that one thing he knows will help down the stretch is the excitement of the playoff push as the Indians continue to chase a Wild Card berth.

"The best thing about it is to be playing meaningful games," said Bourn, whose team in 2012 -- the Braves -- lost the National League Wild Card playoff to the Cardinals. "It's miserable playing games that don't count in August and September. I've been down that road and I hated it. … When you've got something to play for, there's just so much excitement."

As Bourn has gone, so has the Indians' offense. Entering play on Thursday the Indians were averaging 3.88 runs per game since the break, batting .239 with a .688 OPS, each third-lowest in the American League over that period.

Bourn said he knows how much his team depends on him for a spark from the top of the lineup, especially with Cleveland's second-half offensive struggles.

"I know my team depends on me," Bourn said. "If I'm rolling, we're rolling. Even when I was with the Braves, Chipper [Jones] used to [say] all the time, if Mike's rolling, we're rolling. It's been like that with almost any team I've been on.

"I'm glad to be able to be the one that gets the engine going. I love that."

Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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