Mariners welcome back Morse's power, production

Mariners welcome back Morse's power, production

Mariners welcome back Morse's power, production

BALTIMORE -- Michael Morse hit six home runs in his first nine games with the Mariners in April and ranked among the American League long-ball leaders for the first six weeks of the season, but injuries and a stint on the disabled list derailed the big right fielder.

But Morse crushed his first home run since May 27 in Friday night's 11-8 loss to the Orioles, and he is looking to get back on track now that he's finally feeling like himself again after recovering from a strained quadriceps muscle.

Morse was 0-for-11 since coming off the DL on Tuesday until he doubled in his third at-bat on Friday and then homered in the eighth inning on a soaring solo shot to left field.

"Every game I've played since I've been back, I've felt good," said Morse. "It's just sometimes you can hit a ball hard and get an out. My timing was a little off, but it's something I don't press on. I know it'll be there. I believe in my swing and my abilities, so it's just a matter of time."

Acting manager Robby Thompson welcomed the sight of Morse timing up some pitches and unleashing his considerable power.

"Those were good signs, obviously," said Thompson. "It's tough coming back from a rehab assignment. It doesn't come back as quickly as you want sometimes. He's working on his timing, and [Friday] was much better. It gives him some boost, some confidence coming back and knowing he's close to turning the corner."

Morse has 12 home runs and 25 RBIs with a .245 batting average in 220 at-bats going into Saturday's game against the Orioles.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.