Mariners continue their road warrior act

Mariners continue their road warrior act

SAN DIEGO -- While the Mariners offensive struggles at home have been well-documented, the flip side of that has been this season's huge improvement on the road.

The Mariners ranked near the bottom of both home and road numbers last year, but have taken a big jump through their first 41 road outings this year.

Going into Saturday's game at Petco Park, the Mariners ranked fourth among the 30 Major League teams in road slugging percentage at .426, behind only the Yankees, Rangers and Red Sox. They were seventh in OPS (.738) and eighth in batting average (.263).

Seattle's 50 road home runs put them tied with the Yankees for the most in MLB, though the Yankees have played six fewer road games. But even in home runs per road game, the Mariners rank third at 1.22, behind the Yankees (1.43) and Blue Jays (1.36).

A year ago, Seattle totaled just 52 home runs in 78 road games, putting them 28th among the 30 teams. They were 21st in road batting average (.244), 28th in slugging (.363) and 30th in OPS (.658).

The Mariners best road hitters have been Kyle Seager (.322, 8 HR, 33 RBI) and Michael Saunders (.297, 6, 20). At home, Seager is hitting .180 with two home runs and 12 RBIs, while Saunders is at .200 with one home run and three RBIs.

But apparently the ball has been carrying well in Mariners road series for both sides, as Seattle's pitchers have allowed the most home runs in the Majors on the road (64 in 41 games). The next-closest is Minnesota, with 52 in 34 games.