PEORIA, Ariz. -- Kyle Seager is in a battle With Chone Figgins for playing time this spring, and the young Mariners third baseman made a strong early statement on Sunday with a 3-for-3 day that included a well-hit home run to center field in the first inning of a 5-4 victory over the Padres.
Seager, 24, also made an excellent defensive play to rob James Darnell of a hit in the second inning. He finished the day with two RBIs and two runs scored, before being replaced in the sixth inning by Vinnie Catricala.
The 6-foot, 195-pound Seager worked to add some strength and make his swing more compact this offseason, and the early results have been encouraging.
"I'll tell you, that was probably the best ball I've seen him hit," manager Eric Wedge said. "And he's hit some balls hard last year, and early on this year. But that was a little different sound on that ball he hit to center field.
"And he made a nice play at third base, and hit a couple other balls hard, too," said Wedge. "You can't underestimate just what it means to have a little big league experience under your belt as you come into this year. We've got a lot of guys in that territory that broke in last year. I'm sure it's going to help him, as well as everybody."
Figgins started in center field and went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.