Smoak piling up two-baggers at Safeco Field

Smoak piling up two-baggers at Safeco Field

SEATTLE -- When they moved the fences in at Safeco Field this season, the assumption was home runs would come easier. That hasn't translated too much yet in the Mariners' first 18 home games, but it is interesting that first baseman Justin Smoak has hit doubles in his last four games at Safeco going into Saturday's game with the A's.

The only previous Mariners to double in four straight games at Safeco were Ichiro Suzuki in 2002 and Michael Morse in '06.

Smoak has been hitting the ball hard recently, and while it hasn't paid off in home runs yet, he's hit .318 (14-for-44) over his last 13 games to raise his batting average from .188 to .239.

"I haven't really felt bad all year," Smoak said. "I've hit balls hard. I just have to keep having good at-bats and squaring balls up, and sooner or later they'll start going over the fence or in the gap. I just have to keep doing it."

As for the recent run of doubles?

"I don't know," Smoak said. "It's coincidence. It's baseball. The fences are in a little bit, but it still hasn't really warmed up here yet. It's still playing normal. But it's one of those things where I feel like I'm having good at-bats. Every ball I hit last night was on the barrel. I'm starting to feel better and better, and you just have to keep having good at-bats and good things are going to happen."

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.