SEATTLE -- After dealing with three months of frustration while recovering from a shoulder injury incurred in the season opener in Tokyo, Mariners first baseman Mike Carp enjoyed a breakthrough four-game series against the Royals when he hit .433 (8-for-15) with a home run, two doubles and five RBIs.
For Carp, it was a needed boost after his average dipped to .146 after coming off the disabled list following a three-week rehab stint with Triple-A Tacoma.
"I'm feeling good," said the 25-year-old, whose average was up to .202 going into Monday's series opener with Toronto. "I'd worked hard with [Tacoma hitting coach Jeff] Pentland to try to get things right and get past some of the bad muscle memory I'd created by being hurt. Things are definitely starting to pay off and hopefully it keeps going."
Carp said the sprained left shoulder led to some bad habits as he tried to compensate during his initial return to Seattle, but he and Pentland studied his swing and made some corrections.
"I'm getting close," he said. "I'm starting to center some balls and have a better idea of what I want to do with it and accomplishing what I want to do, which definitely helps. You can have the best idea in the world and not get anything accomplished when you take it into play during the game.
"Luckily for me, it's been working lately and I just want to continue going down that positive path. I've got a couple months left to do some damage."
Getting the chance to play every day since the Mariners sent first baseman Justin Smoak down to Tacoma has certainly helped.
"I think it's more of a timing issue, as he's worked back," manager Eric Wedge said. "We've talked about that big league learning curve of coming back and getting at-bats here with more consistency and being able to see big league pitching from day to day. I think you're seeing him catch up."