SEATTLE -- It took first baseman Logan Morrison more than half the season to warm up, but he has hit his stride -- and a couple of huge game-winning home runs -- down the stretch and could be solidifying his place in the team's future plans in the process.
Acquired from the Marlins for reliever Carter Capps in December, Morrison was batting just .201 on July 27 after struggling early with a hamstring injury. But as the calendar turned to August, he started heating up, and once he replaced Justin Smoak as the everyday first baseman, his production improved dramatically.
Morrison has hit .328 with 12 runs, seven doubles, five home runs, 10 RBIs and a 1.058 OPS in 21 September games. He smacked the game-winning three-run homer with two out in the ninth against the Angels in a big 3-1 win early in the just-concluded road trip and then lifted the club to a 7-5 victory in Thursday's finale in Toronto with two home runs and four RBIs.
"Very, very satisfying," Morrison said of the late-season run that has lifted his season totals to .256 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs in 324 at-bats. "It's been a really tough road for me -- injuries, having to fight to play every day, finally getting that chance to play every day and showing what I can do ... It's a good feeling for sure."
Morrison has surprised manager Lloyd McClendon with his outfield play when used in both left and right field on occasion, but McClendon said Morrison's future figures to be at first base.
But Morrison is focused only on the final three games of the regular season, looking to put a final stamp on his strong finish.
"I didn't feel right when I came back from the All-Star break," Morrison said. "But from the very end of July, I started to feel a little better. When we were in Cleveland, I started to feel a little better there and kept building and building, and now we're here.
"You take it one step at a time, one day at a time, one pitch at a time. Always learning, always trying to improve and just trying to get the barrel to the ball. If I do that, good thing are going to happen."
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.