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Miller sees positives after homering in SF

Mariners shortstop goes yard in park where he watched stars as teen

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brad Miller came to AT&T Park as a teenager with his family and recalls seeing Barry Bonds and Albert Pujols hit home runs in the same game, so the Mariners shortstop got a thrill out of doing the same himself Tuesday, though his solo shot came in a 6-2 loss to the Giants as Seattle closed out a frustrating road trip.

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The Mariners went 4-4 on the trip, but felt like they wasted chances to get some momentum going in a season that now sits 29-36 heading home for eight critical games against the Giants, Astros and Royals.

"I think we have to take the positives," Miller said in the wake of Tuesday's setback. "We beat two pretty good pitchers in Cleveland in [Corey] Kluber and [Trevor] Bauer. Obviously Houston was three kind of extreme games. They're a team when they get going, they're tough at home.

"And here you get the defending champs and facing some good pitchers again. I think personally we have to take the positives and take it back to Seattle and have a good homestand."

He'll get no argument from manager Lloyd McClendon, who believes the Mariners are better than they've shown.

"Perception and reality," McClendon said. "Perception is we're treading water. Reality is we're not playing as well as we should be playing. We've had opportunities. Today was a perfect example. We just couldn't get the one hit to put us over the hump."

Miller had both of Seattle's RBIs with his solo shot in the fifth and his run-scoring base hit in the sixth that ended Giants starter Tim Lincecum's day.

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"It felt pretty good," Miller said of his opposite-field homer. "I was just trying to get in there and be ready to go from the get-go and I put a good pass on it. He's a pitcher. That's what he does. He mixes, he can throw every pitch and he knows what he's doing up there. You just have to get in there and see something and try to hit it."

Miller's six home runs are somewhat symbolic of Seattle's season as all have been solo shots. The Mariners have struggled to put runners on base, with the lowest batting average and on-base percentage in the American League.

"Obviously you take them at any point," Miller said, "but I think lately we've done a really good job of stringing some stuff together. You go through a rut sometimes where you feel like you haven't done something in a while. But I think we're on the backside of that. We're coming through and I think the next couple months will be pretty good."

As for playing at AT&T Park for the first time, Miller said it harkened him back to his family visit 10 years earlier when Bonds and Pujols went deep and reminded him again of the joys of the job even after a frustrating loss.

"I obviously will always remember that," Miller said of the earlier visit. "We're living a dream. This is awesome. Tuesday, sellout crowd like that, are you kidding me? It's a pretty cool spot, a pretty cool place."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast.
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