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05/11/08 2:10 PM ET

Hillman addresses recent slump

Manager forgoes batting practice on Sunday in midst of skid

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals never knew a 54-degree day with a 20-mph wind could feel so good. That's because unlike Saturday night, this one didn't include rain.

The day also didn't include any rousing pregame pep talk from the manager for a team that has now lost five of its last six -- all of them at home.

"We're in a really, obviously, a disappointing and frustrating stretch," manager Trey Hillman said.

The day also didn't include batting practice. Hillman said part of the reason was the late Saturday night ending helped by a nearly two-hour rain delay. But part of it was also because he wanted to give his team a break.

"Late night and guys pressing and just the frustration," he said. "Sometimes it's better to take a step back."

Hillman reminded everyone that it's a long season. While he attributes much of the team's recent misfortune to poor execution on offense, he also noted a shortcoming in what overall has been a rock-solid pitching staff.

"You look back over the days we have had offense, we've still lost ball games; we have had one blow-up inning that cost us," he said.

Max Utsler is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.