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Franklin works through struggles at plate

Franklin works through struggles at plate

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Franklin works through struggles at plate

HOUSTON -- After a strong first month in the Majors, Mariners rookie second baseman Nick Franklin has endured his share of struggles.

Franklin hit .299 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in his first 32 games with the club. But since July 2, he's batted .176 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 42 games.

The 22-year-old has maintained some power, but has struck out 66 times in 165 at-bats in that span. He clubbed his 12th home run of the season in Thursday's 3-2 win over the Astros, but also struck out twice.

Franklin acknowledged the learning curve hasn't been easy. He carried a .227 batting average into Friday's game with the Astros, a big drop from his initial month.

"It definitely gets the best of you sometimes," Franklin said. "But at the end of the day, you've got to come to the field every day and prepare yourself for the game and don't let yesterday or the day before bother you. I think that's the biggest thing. A lot of this game is mental; it's 90 percent mental. It's a tough toll on your body. But you have to just grind through it and work through it."

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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