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Seager looking to go on hot streak in 2nd half

Mariners third baseman has struggled to find consistency
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager has had moments in the first half when he looked like he was heating up, like he was about to take off on one of his typical streaks, only to see the momentum fade, much like his team in its ongoing struggle to reach and surpass the .500 mark.

But as the Mariners edge past the season's midpoint, their standout third baseman continues searching for needed consistency. History says it will come, as Seager's six-year Major League career has been a model of gradual improvement and steady performance.

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SEATTLE -- Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager has had moments in the first half when he looked like he was heating up, like he was about to take off on one of his typical streaks, only to see the momentum fade, much like his team in its ongoing struggle to reach and surpass the .500 mark.

But as the Mariners edge past the season's midpoint, their standout third baseman continues searching for needed consistency. History says it will come, as Seager's six-year Major League career has been a model of gradual improvement and steady performance.

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Seager increased his home run total each of the past five seasons, including his 30 last year. His batting average has inched upward every year as well, with one exception, topping out at last season's career-best .278 mark, when he also clubbed a career-high 99 RBIs.

Combined with his strong defense, those numbers helped Seager rank seventh among American League position players with a 6.9 WAR last season, the highest ever for a Seattle third baseman.

But things haven't come as easily this year, as Seager is hitting .251/.322/.412 with 10 homers, 45 RBIs and a 1.0 WAR in 82 games.

Video: HOU@SEA: Seager hits a solo smash in the 4th

Manager Scott Servais said he's looking for a big second half from Seager, knowing the third baseman's history and ability to put up good numbers in a hurry when he gets locked in. Servais had Seager out of the lineup Wednesday for the first time since April 26 after an 0-for-14 slump in the first four games of July, suggesting he needed a mental and physical break.

Seager figures he just needs to find the comfort level at the plate that is a constant search at the big league level.

"When your body is in the right positions, and you feel good and it feels clean, it becomes much easier," Seager said. "You're not trying to manage or create things. You're not trying to generate more, because everything is working the way it's supposed to. I haven't been able to sustain that as much this year.

"But we're still looking at it only being halfway through the year, and there's still plenty of time for my personal stuff like that. I think more importantly, it goes back to the team side of it, and we need to be winning and playing better."

The fact Seager's own inconsistency has somewhat mirrored the team's stop-and-start efforts is what he most wants to overcome in the second half. The Mariners have dealt with numerous injuries in the first three months, but Seager notes that the offense has the potential to be one of the best in the AL, and that continues to fuel a steadying optimism through the ups and downs.

"We've had little runs where we've played really well, and we've had some clunkers, for sure," Seager said. "That's kind of been the way it's been going. We can make excuses all day for that stuff, but ultimately that doesn't matter. It's 25 guys out here vs. their 25, and we've got to find a way to get it done more often."

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

Seattle Mariners, Kyle Seager