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Bay tapping into power in Mariners lineup

Bay tapping into power in Mariners lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jason Bay hit eight home runs in all of 2012 with the Mets, a number he matched Saturday with the Mariners when he whacked his seventh and eighth bombs of the season.

Bay is making the most of his comeback opportunity in Seattle, having hit four home runs in his last five games, while raising his batting average to .239 going into Sunday's series finale with the Twins.

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"Unfortunately we couldn't get the win out of it," Bay said. "But yeah, I'm just taking advantage of the playing time and just keep swinging."

Bay, 34, continues splitting time in left field in a platoon situation and has 117 at-bats in 41 games. But after hitting just .165 last year for the Mets, he's rediscovered both his stroke and his enjoyment for the game.

"The last few years there's been a lot of trying to find what it is I want to work on," Bay said. "Now I feel like we've narrowed that down and it's kind of honing that and getting a chance to apply it in games. Obviously, the home runs are nice outcomes to see that it's working. But I think it's just the product of doing things the right way."

Bay hit just 26 home runs in three seasons with the Mets after averaging 29 homers a year from 2004-09 with the Pirates and Red Sox.

"The power is always there. I don't think that's ever been an issue," he said. "I've done it before. Just somewhere along the way I got off track as far as the process as far as the swing, paralysis by analysis, where you try to do more or work on this or that. This is a game where it's hard to try easier, if that makes sense. You want to try to do more and the game doesn't really reward that. The power has always been there and now it's just a matter of getting out of my own way."

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.

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