Ryan turning around fortunes at the plate

Ryan turning around fortunes at the plate

SEATTLE -- When Brendan Ryan's single cleared the glove of leaping second baseman Jemile Weeks to drive in the go-ahead run in Tuesday's contest with Oakland, Mariners fans were delighted. To Ryan, it also provided relief.

"It seems like there's bodies everywhere anyway," Ryan said. "Just happy to see the ball hit some grass. It's just nice for it to all work out."

Ryan has struggled at the plate this season, but not because of a lack of work. The game-winning hit is just another step for the shortstop in a long road back to offensive respect. Since June 15, when Ryan was hitting just .156, he has gone 10-for-31 (.323) with two doubles, a home run and seven RBIs.

"He's been slowly climbing," manager Eric Wedge said. "His [batting practice has] been better. Again, I think he's been more consistent with his repetition during the game, with his takes, with his swings. Like I said before, with his balance. He's put himself in a better position to hit.

"Like I told him, we don't need you to do it overnight, just work in the right direction and the length of the season will take care of the rest."