ANAHEIM -- After winning their fourth straight road series to start the season -- a feat last accomplished in Seattle's 116-win campaign in 2001 -- the Mariners head home intent on showing they can keep the momentum going at Safeco Field.
Seattle improved to 8-4 on the road, including 6-3 on their just-completed journey through New York, Cleveland and Anaheim, and pulled within half a game of first-place Texas and Oakland in the American League West at 9-9.
"This was fun," manager Scott Servais said after his Mariners finished off Sunday's 9-4 win over the Angels to clinch the series. "We played really good baseball. This is kind of what we envisioned coming out of camp. We obviously got off to a little slow start on the last homestand. We're anxious to get back home and play good there. That's kind of the last little hurdle. We're in a good spot, we feel good about ourselves. It was a fun trip."
"You go on the road and win every series, that's pretty good," said third baseman Kyle Seager, whose three-run homer in the first kick-started Sunday's win. "We played some pretty good teams as well. It was definitely a really good road trip and everybody is looking forward to getting home."
The Mariners still must show they can win at Safeco, where they went 1-5 against the A's and Rangers in their first homestand. They'll take on the Astros and Royals this coming week before venturing back on the road, where they've hit .252 and averaged 5.3 runs per game compared to .170 and 1.8 runs at home.
Safeco is a tough hitter's park, particularly when the air is damp or cooler in the early spring months. That might be part of the reason the club has hit 19 of its first 24 homers on the road this year, but Seager -- a veteran of five seasons at Safeco -- says this club should fare just fine in its own yard.
After the Mariners went 36-45 at home compared to 40-41 on the road last year, general manager Jerry Dipoto went out and acquired higher on-base percentage players with the idea of better suiting his offense to Safeco Field. That strategy should help over the course of the year, but it wasn't evident in the first six games.
"We didn't have a good homestand, so it's not hard to do much better than we did there," Seager said. "We definitely played well on this trip. We played like we should have been playing. I think there's more in the tank. Today was good offensively, but this is a team that should be able to win in a lot of different ways."
Seager says the team's veterans regrouped at the end of that homestand, which ended with a walkoff victory, and the club should continue on its upward course.
"We've got into a little bit of a rhythm here," he said. "I think this is more the brand of baseball we'll be playing going forward."
The Mariners have only opened a season by winning four straight road series twice before in franchise history. They won the first seven series in '01 and also won the first four in 1997.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.