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Ibanez breaks out with four-hit game

Ibanez breaks out with four-hit game

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez played so well early in 2009 that fans made him a National League All-Star starter.

This season has been much different. Ibanez entered Tuesday's series opener against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park hitting just .230 with three home runs, 22 RBIs, a .329 on-base percentage and a .379 slugging percentage.

Ibanez said he has figured out a few things recently, which he hopes help him turn around his season. He showed signs of that in a 10-8 victory over the Marlins. He went 4-for-5 with two RBIs. It was his first four-hit game since May 15, 2009.

"Without getting into too much detail, taking a shorter path to the ball and using less of my body," he said. "When you don't control your body the right way in the batter's box, you don't put yourself in the right position, you don't allow yourself to create the necessary bat speed and the bat speed that you have. When you get yourself in the right position and you fire the right way, your bat travels the way it's supposed to. Without getting too complicated, it's just about getting in the right position.

"It's kind of similar to squatting a weight or bench pressing. If you don't get yourself in the right position, you can't push the weight. That's really what hitting is about."

Ibanez, 38, had sports hernia surgery in November, but said he is healthy.

"I feel good, I feel healthy, I feel strong physically," he said. "It probably has more to do with creating some habits and getting out of them."

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