5/21/2013 9:45 P.M. ET
Smoak heating up over past month
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Over the past 30 days, Justin Smoak ranks second among American League first baseman in on-base percentage (.422), fourth in batting average (.297), sixth in OPS (.922) and eighth in slugging percentage (.500).
The power has been the one thing lacking, but that seems to be coming now as Smoak had a double and two home runs in his past three games heading into Tuesday's series opener against the Angels.
Smoak hit his second home run of the Indians' series in the 10th inning on Monday after the Mariners blew a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, so he took that one with a grain of salt.
"I wish I didn't have to have that last at-bat there, but it's baseball and stuff like that happens," Smoak said. "I'm just trying to have good at-bats and I got a good pitch to hit and I squared that one up."
Hitting coach Dave Hansen said Smoak's team-leading on-base percentage of .366 is a good indicator of his improved discipline.
"He's got a really good eye, but he'd chase outside of that zone because he can drive the ball out of the ballpark," Hansen said. "So being able to control that aggressiveness, still staying on the hunt, but refining that strike zone so we can have some discipline at the plate, that's the bottom line."
Hansen also believes Smoak's power will be the last thing to come around, but he's not worrying about that aspect.
"Smoaky is a unique guy, because he's pretty disciplined from both sides with his strike zone," Hansen said. "For a big dude, that's pretty unique for me. He has to keep within himself, because he does have that power that can get you in trouble, so we constantly preach just being a good hitter and not worrying about where the ball ends up. If it ends up in the seats, great. But we've got to make sure we're using the big part of the field and being that good hitter that he can be."
Endy contributing when name is called
ANAHEIM -- Endy Chavez has seen his playing time dip since Michael Saunders returned from the disabled list, but the veteran outfielder has still found ways to contribute.
Chavez, 35, went 3-for-10 in the first seven games of the current road trip, including a pinch-hit home run in the top of the ninth on Monday in Cleveland in a game the Mariners wound up losing in the 10th.
Chavez's home run was the first pinch-hit long ball to give the Mariners the lead in the ninth inning or later since Ken Griffey Jr. on Sept. 16, 1990, in Anaheim.
"I'm just trying to help the team get the winning run, so I was just trying to get on base," Chavez said. "But I got good contact on that one and I hit it out. Everything wasn't easy for the team after that, but I'm just trying to get on base and make it work for the team."
Chavez has started just four times since Saunders returned on April 29, but is still hitting .289 in 76 at-bats and has contributed as a defensive replacement in the outfield, as well.
"I just work and be ready physically, doing my exercises and work on the field," Chavez said. "I take BP like I'm playing and that's getting results. I feel good."
Manager Eric Wedge appreciates the veteran's readiness and approach.
"He's done a nice job for us," Wedge said. "Endy is a big leaguer. He's going to go up there and give himself a chance to hit, he's got a little bit of pop and he's a good player. He's been a great pickup for us."
• After having just one blown save in their first 38 games, the Mariners have had three in the first seven games of their road trip, with two by Charlie Furbush and one by Tom Wilhelmsen.
• Heading into Tuesday's game, Kyle Seager was one of just three Major Leaguer players with 90 at-bats or more who had yet to ground into a double play.
• Blake Beavan picked up his second straight win for Triple-A Tacoma on Monday while allowing just one run and four hits in 7 2/3 innings in a 5-2 victory over Nashville. Beavan is 2-2 with a 3.70 ERA in four starts since being sent down.
• Franklin Gutierrez was given the day off Monday after playing four straight games for Tacoma to start his injury rehab stint. Gutierrez is batting .188 (3-for-16) with two RBIs. He was expected to be back in the outfield Tuesday night for the Rainiers.