ATLANTA -- When the Mariners acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Athletics on Aug. 6 as a result of a waiver claim, they knew that having his bat in the lineup would strengthen their playoff push in the American League Wild Card race.The Mariners improved to 64-62 and pulled
ATLANTA -- When the Mariners acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Athletics on Aug. 6 as a result of a waiver claim, they knew that having his bat in the lineup would strengthen their playoff push in the American League Wild Card race.
The Mariners improved to 64-62 and pulled to within one game of an AL Wild Card spot as Alonso continued to deliver on Monday. He went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs in Seattle's 6-5 victory over the Braves at SunTrust Park.
Since being acquired, Alonso has hit .318 with four extra-base hits and nine RBIs. He is also riding an eight-game hitting streak and has 13 hits over that span.
"I am working and getting to the field early to make sure that I am prepared," Alonso said. "I am making sure that before the game, my work is good and I am focused."
Alonso has proven valuable as the Mariners have sustained injuries to their starting rotation. He has also stepped up with Nelson Cruz not in the lineup during road Interleague games.
"It is definitely credit to the staff and the lineup of veteran guys," Alonso said. "These guys are helping me every single day and it's been a lot of fun."
Alonso has primarily played in a platoon situation with teammate Danny Valencia, but has drawn starts against right-handed pitchers.
Against Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, Alonso seemed to shorten his swing to adjust to fastballs on the inside corner. It was fruitful as he ripped two doubles to right field, including one down the right-field line.
"The left-handed bats in our lineup are going to be big against this club with the right-handed pitching that they have," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Alonso, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Ben Gamel, that group of guys need to step up. Tonight, they did a good job."
In his career against the Braves, Alonso is batting .337 with a homer and six doubles. He has driven in nine runs in 74 career at-bats. However, he said that his goal against any opponent is to just give his team a chance to score.
"I am just competing and trying to get on base," Alonso said. "I know if I get on base, it's a greater chance with the lineup that we have."
The Mariners will need him to keep producing as the season comes to an end and they hope for a shot to play in the postseason.
"He has been outstanding and is seeing the ball really well right now," Mariners starter Andrew Albers said. "The guy has a great approach to the plate and it seems like every time he gets up there, he hits the ball hard."
Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta and covered the Mariners on Monday.