Even though Derrek Lee belted a three-run home run in the fourth inning Sunday that helped the Orioles win a series for the first time in five tries, and even though it was his second home run of the series, the first baseman wasn't interested having a nice, relaxed, easy afternoon before a rare day off.
After the game ended, Lee headed straight to the weight room for a quick workout, and when he popped into the clubhouse 30 minutes after the game was over, his face was dripping with sweat.
He was one of the last Orioles to leave Camden Yards, and when you couple that with his recent hot stretch at the plate, it's a scene that might serve as proof that all his hard work in recent weeks is starting to pay off.
"I've just been really working on my swing," Lee said. "I really haven't had it all year. It's getting better. I've been trying to stay consistent with it. I just need to keep working at it. Hopefully, I'll find that rhythm and keep it."
In his past nine games, Lee has gone 15-of-40 (.375) with four doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs. And while he hasn't quite returned to the form he showed in 2009, when he hit .306 with 35 home runs, 111 RBIs and had a .972 OPS, he's feeling a bit more like himself. Especially after hitting two home runs in the last three games.
"It felt good," Lee said of his three-run homer. "I've really struggled driving in runs this year. For what reason, I don't know. So it felt good to get three at one time."
Lee isn't afraid to acknowledge he has been trying a number of different things this year. He knows he's at the age (35) at which he can't rely on raw ability anymore.
"You know, baseball's a game of adjustments," Lee said. "Even the best hitters are always adjusting. I know I have to make adjustments now. I'm know I'm not as young, or as quick. It forces you to have to adjust. Even when your swing is going great, you're still making minor adjustments. I guess that's the great thing about this game is that you've never got it completely figured out."