{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Smoak finds his stroke at plate against Astros

|
Smoak finds his stroke at plate against Astros play video for Smoak finds his stroke at plate against Astros

HOUSTON -- It has been another frustrating start to the season for Justin Smoak, but the Mariners first baseman went 5-for-10 in the Astros series and said he was finally feeling more comfortable at the plate.

Smoak raised his average from .188 to .228 in the three-game set and finished things off with his first home run, a solo shot down the right-field line, leading off the ninth inning in Wednesday's 10-3 loss to the Astros.

"It's mostly just slowing things down," Smoak said. "The first couple weeks I've been real anxious, so I'm just trying to slow things down and see the ball and hit it. I think early on I was trying to not just square it up, but trying to hit balls as hard as I possibly can hit them."

The Texas native seems to especially love playing in Houston, where he has now gone 12-for-24 with two doubles, three home runs and 10 RBIs in six games, the first three coming when when he was with the Rangers in 2010.

After hitting just .156 in the first 10 games of the year, Smoak has hit safely in nine of the last 11 games and batted .282 (11-for-39) in that span.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español