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July 21, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Mariner offense back humming after one-hit night

Nick Franklin's grand slam. Photo by Getty Images

Nick Franklin’s grand slam. Photo by Getty Images

Read about Paul McCartney at Safeco Field.

Much of the post-game talk, not surprisingly, centered on the Mariners’ revived offense, though some was reserved for Felix Hernandez’s strong outing in Seattle’s 12-5 win. Felix said he didn’t think about the game on June 20, when he squandered a 7-0 early lead against the Angels.

“That never came to my mind,” he said. “Every time you go out there, it’s 1-0.”

Hernandez wanted to talk about the Mariner offense just like everyone else. Not surprising, considered he’s been victimized by their paltry attack more than anyone else over the years. So he’s savoring this run.

“Right now, this is the best,’’ he said. “The confidence right now is one of the best. All those guys go to the plate and just fight every at-bat, and if they make a mistake they’re going to hit it out of the ballpark. They’re unbelievable.

“They’re being aggressive. Sometimes they’re being selective, and if you throw a strike they’re going to hit it. They’ve been putting good at-bats and we’ve been scoring a lot of runs.”

Dustin Ackley, who had three hits, believes it’s the best he’s seen from this team in his three years.

“This is about as good a stretch as we’ve had since I’ve been here in 2011,’’ Ackley said. “This is a great feeling. It’s not like we’re doing it here or there. We’ve been doing it every day for the last couple weeks, so that’s definitely an exciting thing.”

The big blow, of course, was Nick Franklin’s grand slam. With his slender frame, Franklin is not your prototypical power hitter, right down to his trademark double-flap helmet. But his results defy that characterization.

“They always say I’m like wiry strong,’’ Franklin said after his latest display of long-ball prowess.

Franklin has seven homers in his first 45 major-league games, with 24 runs batted in. (His combined totals in the majors and minors are not as high as I had in the game thread — I looked at the wrong line in his entry on baseballreference.com. Apologies. But his power has still been somewhat surprising).

“I definitely put the work in the weight room, though obviously it doesn’t look like it,’’ Franklin said. “Other than that, I just try to square the ball up as much as I can. If it goes out, it goes out.”

The Mariners drew three walks in the game to give them 17 in the series. Ten of those have come round to score, another indication to Eric Wedge that the offense is humming.

“What they’re doing a better job with is, hey, if they’re not going to pitch to me, I’m going to drop my bat and go to first base and let the next guy go. But if I get two strikes, I’m going to fight, fight and fight, and hopefully get a pitch I can do something with.

“It’s that fine line between being aggressive and yet being under control with it.”

It’s pretty much the same thing Wedge has said from Day One. But for now, it seems to be working.

 

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