8/7/2013 10:46 P.M. ET
Young infielders' errors part of growing pains
By Jacob Thorpe / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- While Seattle's young players have been the key to an offensive resurgence, there have been some growing pains as well. In Tuesday night's 7-2 loss to Toronto, the infield -- whose oldest player apart from the catcher is 26-year-old first baseman Justin Smoak -- were credited with three errors, and were responsible for a fourth.
"These are all things they can learn from," acting manager Robby Thompson said. "Mental mistake by [second baseman] Nick Franklin, which caused the throw by [outfielder] Raul Ibanez. Just to clear that up, that's been talked about, because Raul was throwing the ball to second base, Nick had already vacated to do a double relay at third base, he should've stayed at second."
After the game, Ibanez spoke to Franklin about the miscommunication and Thompson said the second baseman understands why his decision wasn't optimal. At the time, Franklin was struggling at the plate, with an 0-for-27 hitting streak, something Thompson acknowledged might have affected his fielding. He snapped the slump with his first career triple in the first inning on Wednesday.
Still, Thompson isn't concerned with the result, because he trusts his players' approach.
"They're doing all the right things, their pregame work is good, they have good routines. But it's all going to be part of the in-play during those nine innings. They have to think ahead of times about the situation."
Seattle didn't make an error in Wednesday's 9-7 win over the Blue Jays.
Mariners not harping on recent slump
SEATTLE -- After spending July filling up box scores with one of baseball's most potent offenses, the Mariners' bats fell silent in the first two games of their series against Toronto. With runners in scoring position the Mariners were just 2-of-14 against the Blue Jays, dropping games by a combined score of 10-3.
In Wednesday's 9-7 win, they were 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
"It is what it is, we're going to go through our ups and downs in the season, but we try to stay as consistent as possible," outfielder Michael Saunders said before Wednesday's game. "We got kind of shut down the last couple games, but overall, we've been swinging the bats really well one through nine."
After struggling to begin the year, Saunders has been a bright spot for the Mariners' offense. The 26-year-old has hit safely in 30 of 37 games, after going 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and two runs, and has four home runs in his last 10 games.
Because of players like Saunders, Brad Miller, Kyle Seager and Justin Smoak, the Mariners are confident their recent struggles are just a blip, rather than a trend. And all four players had hits on Wednesday.
"For pretty much the month of July we were cashing in on every opportunity," Miller said. "We had five, six guys in the middle there, really just crushing it. So, yeah, I think last night they did a good job keeping us off balance and we weren't able to break it open there early, but we've seen what our offense can do."
• Ken Griffey Jr. will be inducted into the Mariners' Hall of Fame in a ceremony prior to Saturday's game against the Brewers. He joins Dan Wilson, Alvin Davis, Dave Niehaus, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, and Randy Johnson.
• Smoak has hit safely in eight straight games. In that time, he was 12-for-30 (.400) with three doubles and a pair of home runs.
Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.