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Morrison 'full of confidence' as offense rebounds

Mariners first baseman slugs 1st career walk-off HR vs. A's

SEATTLE -- Logan Morrison didn't waste much time making his mark on the Mariners' latest much-needed win.

All it took was one swing of the bat on the first pitch in the bottom of the 11th inning. Morrison met a Dan Otero pitch, sent it over the wall in right-center field, and sent Seattle to a 4-3 walk-off victory over the A's that reversed the mojo of their two consecutive walk-off losses to the Angels over the weekend in Anaheim.

They're 12-17 now, so they've still got plenty of work to do in the standings, but a return home and a big blast to end a tight division game is always welcome.

And for Morrison, the at-bats keep getting better and the results are starting to arrive. Morrison's first career walk-off homer capped a two-hit night. The first baseman has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, batting .429 (15-for-35) with four homers, seven RBIs, seven runs scored, three doubles and a triple.

Video: [email protected]: Morrison receives trash shower from Cruz

"He's starting to come along," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He's full of confidence, and there's nothing like a confident player."

It's a stark departure from the early stages of Morrison's season, when it seemed his well-struck balls were hitting the webbing of every glove in the American League or falling just shy of the wall. Then again, he says there was more to it than bad luck.

"The tough part was the bad at-bats that were mixed in with that," Morrison said. "I wouldn't say I was hitting the ball extremely hard. I was just hitting it hard sometimes. And they were getting caught. So that's how you hit .100 for the first three weeks or whatever.

"And then not having any good at-bats in between those. They're being more consistent now. I'm staying behind the ball better and getting it in the air. So all the hard-hit balls that I do have, if they're hit in the air, they're probably a homer. Unless you play in Houston and you hit it to center field."

On Friday night, Morrison singled in his team's first run, lining a Sonny Gray pitch into shallow left field to beat the A's infield shift. He went hitless in his next three at-bats before unloading on Otero in the 11th. And even after all his almost-hits in 2015, he said he had little doubt that his aggressive hack to win the game had paid off.

"If that didn't go," he said, "I was probably just going to quit."

Doug Miller is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.
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