Morales turning a corner at the plate

Morales turning a corner at the plate

SEATTLE -- Kendrys Morales didn't wield the big bat in the middle of the order the Mariners had hoped for in his first two weeks with the club, but the veteran designated hitter has driven the ball better the last couple games and is showing signs of life.

Morales hit his first home run in 17 games with Seattle in Tuesday's 6-3 win over the Blue Jays and also doubled, giving him three extra-base hits in two games after totaling just two doubles in his first 15 outings after being acquired by trade from the Twins on July 24.

Morales' two-run homer in the first inning of Wednesday's victory off Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey was Morales' second home run in as many nights and provided Seattle's only offense of the night.

Morales went 2-for-3 with a walk in the 2-0 win, raising his average to .206 with Seattle and .225 on the season. He has shown signs of breaking out in the last five games, hitting .350 (7-for-20) with two doubles and two home runs.

"The coaches have corrected a few things in my swing," Morales said after Wednesday's game. "I'm feeling really comfortable and hopefully that continues going forward. They brought me here for a reason. While I haven't had the results up to this point, I'm going to keep working hard to bring that production."

The 31-year-old Cuban brought just a .185/.236/.292 slash line into Wednesday's series finale with Toronto, but his .882 OPS over the last four games certainly was a welcome signal that he could be turning the corner after holding out the first 3 1/2 months of the season and then playing 39 games for Minnesota.

"Our coaching staff has taken a big interest in me having success," Morales said through interpreter Fernando Alcala. "We've been working real hard and it's starting to pay off."

A career .274 hitter who batted .277 with 23 homers and 80 RBIs last year for Seattle, the eight-year Major League veteran insists he's not been pressing trying to get going for his new/old club. Instead, he says he's just trying to get into a groove after his late start.

"I'm just trying to get comfortable at the plate," Morales said. "I want to produce because the team needs it, but I haven't been putting any additional pressure on myself."

Manager Lloyd McClendon has continued playing Morales through his struggles and believes that patience will pay off.

"The at-bats he's had up to now are really his Spring Training at-bats," McClendon said prior to Wednesday's game. "I know he worked hard to get himself into shape in Minnesota and he's trying to catch up on his strength. He's starting to settle in a little bit and swing better. I see him taking much better BP and driving the ball to all fields, really staying inside the ball. Last night was good evidence of that."

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.