Mariners aim to take control in first inning

Mariners aim to take control in first inning

SEATTLE -- The first inning has been kind to the Mariners this season -- very kind.

The Mariners have scored first in 18 of their 30 games heading into Monday's contest with the Tigers, outscoring their opponents, 19-9, in the first frame. But once the game progresses, things tend to go downhill. From the seventh inning on, Seattle is being outscored, 42-28.

"It gives a lot of confidence; it gives you a good feeling," Jesus Montero said of getting out in front. "You're positive the whole game, so you take the game under control. So it's a lot better to get a couple runs first, then control the game after that, so we can win.

"We've got to attack right away. We're trying every single time to do the best right away. We got to get good pitches to swing at, see what happens, just try to hit the ball hard every time."

Sunday's rubber match with the Twins is a prime example of how an early lead has sustained a Seattle win. The Mariners jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, added a couple more runs as the game progressed, and then held on late for a 5-2 win.