Smoak hopes injuries are finally behind him

Smoak hopes injuries are finally behind him

Smoak hopes injuries are finally behind him
SEATTLE -- Justin Smoak finally had the chance to see some consistent playing time on the last road trip in Oakland and Anaheim, where the first baseman finished 7-for-24 with two runs and an RBI.

It's been a tumultuous season for the 24-year-old, who took just six at-bats in August because of a left thumb injury and a fractured nose. But if history repeats itself, Smoak should finish strong this year.

Smoak is hitting .324 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in his career from the start of September through the end of the season.

But at this point, staying on the field would probably keep Smoak happy. After spending nearly his entire career healthy, he's had the injury bug this season with the left thumb, fractured nose and a right thumb injury that kept him out earlier this year.

In the first at-bat of Smoak's rehab stint at Triple-A Tacoma, the South Carolina native was hit by a pitch.

"It was like, 'Here we go again,'" Smoak said, shaking his head.

His stats in four games with Tacoma weren't pretty -- 0-for-11, one run, three walks. But Smoak says he's simply concentrating on getting back into a routine.

"I mean, when you're out for three weeks to a month, you've got to get your rhythm and timing back," he said. "I had some good at-bats there. It's just good to get back on the field and get back to swinging in game situations."