Smoak fighting through first-year adjustments

Smoak fighting through first-year adjustments

Smoak fighting through first-year adjustments
SEATTLE -- Young first baseman Justin Smoak is among several hitters the Mariners need to get on track if they hope to improve their offensive production, but manager Eric Wedge said the big man from South Carolina is adjusting to how pitchers are changing things up on him now that he's becoming more established.

Smoak, riding an 0-for-13 streak heading into Tuesday's game, has seen his average slip to .251. But he still leads the Mariners in RBIs with 40 and is tied with Miguel Olivo for the home run lead with 12 from his new cleanup spot.

"I think with Smoaker, he's done a very good job for a first full-year guy in the big leagues," Wedge said. "He's been thrown right in the middle of it and he's had some big hits and some stretches of consistency, but also some inconsistency, which is what you'd expect from a first-year guy.

"But the thing I like about Smoak is when he goes up there, you feel like he's giving himself a chance each time. I think he's right now working to battle some adjustments the league is making to him, which is part of it. It's a constant back and forth. I think he's going to handle that fine."