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May 5, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Bay keeps it simple in new role

TORONTO – Jason Bay wasn’t sure how much playing time he would have with the Mariners.

“When I made this team my role was kind of undefined,” he said. “All of  sudden some guys went down and you get a little more regular playing time and you get into a  little bit more of a groove. I didn’t know how many at-bats I would get. just be ready when you did.”

The left fielder went into Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays batting .279 with three homers and nine runs batted in. One of the homers came in Friday’s 4-0 victory in Toronto and gave him a seven-game hitting streak that raised his average from .184. He did not play in Saturday’s 8-1 win.

“The biggest thing is not playing all the time you don’t have the luxury of having timing, getting five at-bats a day,” he said. “I’ve just worked on eliminating the things that disrupt my timing, a  lot of unnecessary movements, really keeping it simple.”

Sunday marked his 24th appearance and 16th start in 33 games.

Bay, a native of Trail, B.C.,  gives the Mariners a strong Canadian contingent in the outfield with Michael Saunders of Victoria, B.C. in center.

Saunders hit two home runs in Saturday’s game and Bay said that he has grown to appreciate him as a teammate.

“Obviously I’d kind of see what he did,” Bay said. “A lot of people had a lot of good things to say about him in spring training and the more I’m around him the more I see they were right.

“He’s really kind of coming into his own. We missed him the three weeks he was off and he came back like he hadn’t missed a beat. Good defense and good presence on top of our lineup. I think he’s  one of those guys you’re around him ,you appreciate him and he’s kind of undervalued a  little bit, a lot of people forget about the West Coast teams. I think he’s got a real good start on a really good career.”

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