SEATTLE -- Lately, when the wins have come for the Mariners, one can look at good production at the plate with runners in scoring position. During the losses, that production has been suspect, at best.
Even though the Mariners beat the Rangers, 6-1, on Monday, their hitting with runners in scoring position (2-for-9) was nowhere near where they would like it to be. Those struggles were highlighted when the team loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth inning but scored just one run.
"I think with runners in scoring position, you need to be taking less pitches," said Dustin Ackley, who had an RBI single with the bases loaded Monday. "I feel like when you get up there, you need to be looking for the first pitch you can get to the outfield, or if the infield's back, maybe get a ground ball. I think with that, it's just all about giving yourself up. Trading an out for a run I think is the biggest thing with runners in scoring position."
Ackley pointed to Texas' Michael Young and Boston's Adrian Gonzalez as players to emulate in those situations, saying with runners in scoring position, they won't wait around for the perfect pitch. But Ackley also believes as the Mariners offense improves, it's production with runners in scoring position will pick up, as well.
"You only get so many opportunities, especially the pitchers in this league, as good as everybody is," third baseman Kyle Seager added. "You got to kind of make the most of your opportunities. When you're not making the most of your opportunities, when you're not hitting with guys in scoring position, it doesn't really matter how many hits you get.
"I felt like towards the end [of the last road trip] we started doing a better job getting some hits with guys in scoring position."