Saunders homers in return, looks to stay aggressive

Saunders homers in return, looks to stay aggressive

SEATTLE -- Mariners center fielder Michael Saunders has said for two seasons now that he wants to attack the baseball, after struggling through his first few years in the Majors. And that was never more evident than Monday when he ripped the second pitch he saw into the right-field seats leading off the game against Baltimore's Zach Britton.

The home run came in his first at-bat after coming off the disabled list with a sprained right shoulder that caused him to miss 17 games.

"I tried to make sure I picked up where I left off," Saunders said before Tuesday's second game of the series. "I was feeling good before I got hurt. Like I said, I vowed to stay aggressive last year. I vowed to stay aggressive this year. If I get a pitch to hit, I'm going to be taking a hack at it."

Britton gave Saunders something to hit with a 1-0 fastball.

"It was good," Saunders said. "I saw a fastball right out of the chute. I think it was more of a get-me-over strike one with the game just starting because after that he started throwing me all sinkers."

Saunders was quick to acknowledge that he wasn't the big Saunders story in that game, however, after Joe Saunders pitched a complete-game four-hitter in the 6-2 win.

"The leadoff hitter tries to set the tone, but I think the tone was set by Saunders, the other Saunders," he said. "He pitched an incredible game. It was fun to see his ball move from center last night."

Greg Johns is a reporter for 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.