Smoak's progress meaningful

Smoak's progress meaningful

SEATTLE -- Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak's recent success is a small sample size, but manager Eric Wedge believes the progress is very real.

Smoak is hitting .600 (6-for-10) with four RBIs, four runs and two home runs during his last three games. He hit back-to-back homers this past weekend, marking the first time he's done that since July 16-17. His blast on Saturday was his first since he went deep on Aug. 18.

"Both from the right side and the left side," said Wedge of Smoak. "Turn around fastballs as best as you could do. Staying on some pitches, hitting the ball the other way. Better takes, better swings. Just a lot of good things."

Smoak raised his average from .189 to .199 in three games. The switch-hitting first baseman hasn't been consistently over .200 since mid-July and spent about three weeks with Triple-A Tacoma.

His 16 home runs are a career-high, though, and at 45 RBIs, he's 11 away from setting a personal best.