"I don't think it's an accident, I think it's something we stressed the first day of Spring Training -- it's preparation," McClendon said. "From a mental standpoint, doing your homework, getting in the video room, understanding what pitchers are going to do in certain situations. If you do that, you've got a better chance to be successful particularly with runners in scoring position. You take the guesswork out of it."
Thursday night's game was a prime example of McClendon's emphasis on preparation. The Mariners' big inning, a six-run second, got going with a pair of two-out walks and exploded into a five-hit, three-walk bonanza.
"All of our guys are learning how to grind at-bats out, how to be a little more patient at the plate, knowing when you can jump on first pitches, when you need to be selective, when you need to be patient," McClendon said. "It's a process, it doesn't happen overnight, but it is something that you can learn and get better at."
Among players with at least 50 at-bats with runners in scoring position this season, Seattle's best hitters are Robinson Cano (.330, 34-for-103, 60 RBIs), Kyle Seager (.310, 40-for-129, 59 RBIs) and Logan Morrison (.309, 17-for-55, 21 RBIs).
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.