Bay returns to old home at PNC Park

Bay returns to old home at PNC Park

PITTSBURGH -- Jason Bay, the face of the Pirates' franchise from 2004-08, returned to PNC Park on Tuesday. With the Pirates, Bay hit .284 in 368 games at PNC Park, with 78 doubles, 12 triples, 61 home runs and 241 RBIs.

He still ranks first in home runs and RBIs in the park's 13-year history.

"This was a great place," said Bay, who went 0-for-2 with two walks in Tuesday's 4-1 loss. "They gave me a chance, I wasn't a huge prospect. I got traded over and they gave an opportunity and I'm very grateful to the organization and the city. It's kind of fun to still come here and I still see a lot of the same faces in the hallway. A lot of things haven't changed, but I have very good memories here."

Bay signed a low-risk one-year contract with the Mariners in December and has gone from the fifth outfielder to a guy who has started to get consistent playing time.

"I had an opportunity to go to a couple of other teams that offered me a better chance at playing time right out of the gate," Bay said. "But this was one of places that I wanted to play and I knew going in that I had to make the team and I wasn't penciled in as a starter, so things had to happen, but all along it was the assumption that if I did what I knew I could do to my capability that I would play, and that was something that fell on me. At this point in my career it was something I kind of liked, it was all on me."

Bay had his season-high seven-game hitting streak snapped in Seattle's 10-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday. It was Bay's longest streak since he hit in seven consecutive games in April 2012 as a member of the Mets.

"He's made some adjustments that have put him in a better position to strike a baseball," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "It's still in there, the bat speed's still in there and the strength is still in there and he's in great shape. That's been the biggest difference that has allowed him to be more consistent and get big hits for us."

George Von Benko is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.