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Segura setting table with hits, not walks

Recent free passes aside, leadoff man staying aggressive, looking to make contact
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- If you're looking for a leadoff hitter who'll work deep into counts and draw walks on a regular basis, Jean Segura isn't your man. But that doesn't mean Segura hasn't been outstanding as the guy atop the Mariners' lineup this season.

The 27-year-old shortstop drew three walks on Monday and Tuesday in the first two games of the series against the Red Sox, snapping a streak of 21 games without a free pass. Just don't count on it becoming a trend for Segura, who entered Wednesday's series finale hitting .327, the second-best average in the American League.

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SEATTLE -- If you're looking for a leadoff hitter who'll work deep into counts and draw walks on a regular basis, Jean Segura isn't your man. But that doesn't mean Segura hasn't been outstanding as the guy atop the Mariners' lineup this season.

The 27-year-old shortstop drew three walks on Monday and Tuesday in the first two games of the series against the Red Sox, snapping a streak of 21 games without a free pass. Just don't count on it becoming a trend for Segura, who entered Wednesday's series finale hitting .327, the second-best average in the American League.

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"It's not part of my game," Segura said. "It's not what I'm looking for. For me, the more easy way to get on base is to get a base hit. Some players have the ability to do that. I don't. I keep working, but I can't go up there just trying to get a walk. I'm always aggressive.

"I don't want to lose my aggressiveness, because at the end of the year, everybody says, 'OK, he took a lot of walks, but he hit .240.' I don't walk too much because I'm aggressive all the time in the strike zone. I don't want to lose that to get walks."

Segura has an extraordinary ability to get his bat on the ball, and the Mariners aren't looking to change that. Manager Scott Servais appreciates Segura's quiet confidence and relaxed approach at the plate.

"Everybody is wired differently," Servais said. "Nelly [Nelson Cruz] is in the cage taking 50 swings, even when he's not going to come up for another inning or whatever, just getting locked in. Jean just plays. He doesn't get too stressed out. He just relaxes, goes up and clearly thinks he can hit everybody and everybody's pitch, no matter what it is, how hard it is, how much it breaks. 'No problem, I'll hit it.' It's a nice confidence to have."

Segura has been scuffling of late, batting just 3-for-26 in the first six games of the homestand. But he singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 13th in Tuesday's 6-5 victory over the Red Sox with a two-out grounder up the middle after he walked twice earlier in the game.

Video: BOS@SEA: Segura lines a walk-off single up the middle

"It's no secret, I've been struggling swinging the bat lately," Segura said. "It's part of the game. It's hard to hit .340 or .350 all year long. I know there will be moments when the slump is going to come. I just have to keep focused and keep playing my game. Have fun in this game. I'm still hitting .330. Those are pretty good numbers with two months left in the season."

Indeed, Segura has been everything the Mariners hoped for when they acquired him from the D-backs. Despite spending a month on the disabled list with two different injuries, he entered Wednesday leading the team in hits with 100. And he entered 10th on the team in walks with 17.

"I worked my counts," Segura said after Tuesday's walk-off win. "I got two walks, almost three. I've been seeing the ball well. We've faced two really good teams with the Yankees and now Boston. You're not always going to get your hits, so you do whatever you can, but it's not easy."

Worth noting

• Center fielder Jarrod Dyson sat out his fourth straight game on Wednesday to rest the hyperextended big toe on his left foot, but Servais expects the speedster back in the lineup when the Mariners open their next series Friday against the Mets.

Robinson Cano got the day off Wednesday, his first time not in the lineup since he came off the DL with a right quad injury on May 23. Servais said he'd also like to get Segura a day off soon, which is one of the reasons Seattle signed veteran infielder Danny Espinosa earlier this week.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Jean Segura