Trip to Cleveland just the remedy for Seager

April 20th, 2016

CLEVELAND -- For Kyle Seager, the perfect slump buster seems to be a series at Progressive Field. The Mariners' third baseman shrugged off a slow early-season start with a pair of hits -- including a home run -- in Tuesday's 3-2 series-opening loss to the Indians.

Seager has made a habit of haunting the Indians in their home park since his arrival in the Majors in 2011, and he hiked his batting average there to a healthy .418 by snapping a hitless streak that had reached 18 at-bats before his fourth-inning base hit to left.

"That felt good," Seager said. "I've been rolling pretty hard and rolling over pretty much that pitch for a while. So that was definitely nice to be able to stay inside of it and hit the ball to left field on a line."

The 28-year-old then launched his solo home run -- Seattle's only tally off starter Carlos Carrasco -- with a soaring shot to right field in the sixth off a 1-0 changeup that stayed up in the zone.

"It was nice to see Seager get rolling a little bit," said manager Scott Servais, whose club totaled just six hits while falling to 5-8.

Seager has gotten off to slow starts the past two years. He hit .185 his first seven games last year and .156 his first 19 games in 2014, but both times turned things around quickly and put up strong seasons.

"Definitely better," Seager said after his 2-for-4 night. "I was able to take better swings tonight, so that was a positive."

Along with reliever Mike Montgomery, who gave the Mariners a chance with 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in place of struggling starter Wade Miley, Seager provided the limited highlights on a cool and windy Ohio evening.

The Mariners need Seager on a team that is hitting just .219 through its first 13 games. But the 2014 All-Star feels it's only a matter of time before the whole club starts producing better.

"I like our lineup," he said. "I think we've got a good lineup top to bottom. It's a deep lineup. I think if you look, even tonight, there were some balls hit hard that we got a little unlucky on, and they threw the ball pretty well."

Seager's success against the Tribe isn't restricted to road games. His .384 average in his career (48-for-125) is the highest batting average of any Major League hitter with at least 100 plate appearances against the Indians since 2010.

But he's done some of his most serious damage at Progressive Field, where all four of his career homers against the Indians have come.

"It goes like that sometimes," Seager said. "It's not necessarily like a launching pad. It's a decent-sized park. It's a really nice park. Thankfully I've been able to do that."