Before last night’s 8-3 loss to Tampa Bay, Yankees left fielder Vernon Wells met with team hitting coach Kevin Long to discuss his swing. Wells has been struggling through a brutal hitting slump, and each day he searches for answers.

Wells said Long went back and studied nearly every one of his swings this season. Long told Wells the only difference he noticed is Wells’ hands might be moving slightly away from his body during his swing.

"A little bit in a swing can throw you off completely," Wells said. "That’s the beauty of this game — if you’re a hair off, you can be pretty bad.

Coming off an 0-for-7 performance in Wednesday’s double-header with the Dodgers, Wells’ woes continued last night as he went 0-for-3 against the Rays. His average dropped to .221.

"We still believe that he can get it done," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I know he’s capable of doing it because I’ve watched it. I’ve watched it with my own eyes. I saw him do it in April and I believe that he can still get it done."

The Yankees are hoping Wells can return to that April form — when he hit .300 with a .544 slugging percentage for the month.

"It’s not easy," Wells said. "This game isn’t easy and going through stuff like this isn’t easy. But it tests you. It really makes you get dialed in and try to figure out what’s going on."

Zoilo Almonte pinch hit for Wells in the ninth inning last night and responded by drilling a liner off the third base bag to record his first Major League hit.