ATLANTA -- While Kyle Seager reached a new level with a club record-tying four extra-base hits in Monday's 10-2 victory at Yankee Stadium, the Mariners' third baseman has been on a significant roll for the last six weeks.
Since April 23, Seager has posted the fifth-highest OPS among all American League players at 1.034, as he's batted .328 with 19 runs, eight doubles, three triples, nine homers and 34 RBIs. The Seager surge has corresponded with Seattle's own rise, as the Mariners have gone 22-15 in that stretch, tied for the third-best record in the Majors heading into Tuesday's series opener against the Braves.
"He's starting to do pretty good, which is just what we envisioned with him," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He's too good to be a .260 hitter. I think this guy is a .280 to .290 guy with power and can drive in some runs."
Seager was hitting just .156 with no homers and two RBIs in 19 games on April 23, but has now raised those numbers to .272 with a team-leading nine home runs and 36 RBIs in 57 appearances.
With Monday's 4-for-5 day, Seager became the first Major Leaguer since Montreal's Hal Breeden in 1973 to have a double, two triples and a home run in the same game. The last AL player to pull that off was Detroit's Hoot Evers in 1950.
The two triples were the separator, of course, and Seager admitted "that's not usually in the arsenal," as he'd tripled just three times in his first three MLB seasons prior to this year.
"It was definitely just one of those days where it all came together," Seager said. "I hit the ball hard a couple times. I hit the one ball down the left-field line where I kind of missed it a little bit, but it had eyes and found a good place, with the infield shifted over and the outfield playing to pull there. It was kind of a fluke play on that one. So it was definitely a good day."
That triple came when Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner missed a sliding attempt at a blooper right on the left-field line and shortstop Derek Jeter deflected the bounce further down the line and then was slow to retrieve it, thinking it had been a foul ball.
"That's your key," Seager said. "When you're struggling, somebody is going to make a diving catch on that or they'll be playing there for some reason. When it's going your way, those seem to drop and crazy things like that happen. It was just one of those days."
Rodney overcomes wardrobe malfunction for save
ATLANTA -- Mariners closer Fernando Rodney didn't need a phone booth to change into a superhero costume on Tuesday night, but he did need a phone to call for a different jersey after discovering he was wearing the wrong one when he started warming up for his ninth-inning save in Seattle's 7-5 victory over the Braves.
Rodney said he just put on the jersey that was hung in front of his locker before the game, like he always does. But when he pulled off his warmup jacket to start loosening up, his teammates quickly noticed he had on his batting practice jersey with gray mesh sides instead of the all-blue game jersey.
"They're the same colored jersey," Rodney said with a shrug after his quick change prior to recording his 15th save of the year. "There were two outs in the [top of the ninth] and [fellow reliever Yoervis] Medina said, 'You've got the wrong one.' I just called to the dugout and said, 'Send my jersey.'"
"I'm pretty sure that was the fastest that clubbie has run in his whole life to get that jersey down there," said Tom Wilhelmsen, who already had thrown two innings of relief of his own on a day the Mariners bullpen tossed six scoreless frames in the comeback win.
There was a slight delay as Rodney changed shirts before running onto the field for the bottom of the ninth, but he said he still had all the time he needed for his normal warm-up.
"I just kept going," Rodney said. "Maybe it worked out having the wrong jersey. We made it work. We made it happen. It was a good game."
While his teammates gave him some good-natured ribbing, the veteran got no grief from his skipper, Lloyd McClendon, who was just happy to have the save in hand.
"What the heck. Blue is blue," McClendon said. "That's the jersey that was hung in front of his locker. I've made that mistake before, too."
Mariners recall Ramirez, option Franklin
ATLANTA -- Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and started Tuesday's game against the Braves at Turner Field, with infielder Nick Franklin optioned to Tacoma to make room for Ramirez on the 25-man roster.
Ramirez began the season in Seattle's rotation and was also brought up on May 7 to make a spot start in a doubleheader against the A's, but he has otherwise been with Tacoma after struggling in his first five starts. Including a 2-0 loss to Oakland in his one-game return, he is 1-4 with a 6.00 ERA in six starts for Seattle this season.
The 24-year-old from Nicaragua took the starting spot opened by last week's demotion of right-hander Brandon Maurer.
Ramirez has pitched parts of the past two seasons for Seattle, and has a 7-10 career record and 4.57 ERA in 36 games, including 27 starts.
In five starts with Tacoma, Ramirez went 1-3 with a 4.55 ERA. He won his most recent outing on Thursday, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings against Salt Lake.
Franklin has hit well in Triple-A this season, but struggled at the plate with Seattle and batted just .129 with 15 strikeouts after rejoining the Mariners on May 20. In two stints with Seattle this season spanning 17 games, Franklin has hit .128 with two RBIs, a .192 on-base percentage and .170 slugging percentage.
Asked if opposing pitchers had spotted a weakness and kept attacking it, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said he didn't know if it was as simple as that.
"I'm not sure," said McClendon. "I understand your question, but I don't have the answer. I really don't. I wish I did. He was striking out at an alarming rate. This is a game of adjustments, particularly at this level, and you've got to be able to make them."
In 30 games with Tacoma, Franklin is batting .376 with seven doubles, seven home runs and 26 RBIs. That success just hasn't translated over to the Major League level, and McClendon said his message to Franklin was simple.
"I just told him to go down and play," McClendon said. "If he gets an opportunity to come back, you've got to produce. That's one of the messages I'm trying to send every individual in our organization. This is not a country club. You have to have positive results here. That's just the way it is.
"Some people think we're tough or we don't like 'em. For me, all that stuff goes right out the window because there are only two people that get a win or a loss and that's the pitcher and the manager. And I'd be a fool if I didn't want to put the best people out there to help me win games. So liking or disliking has nothing to do with it. If you can help me win, I like you. It's just that simple."
• The Mariners entered Tuesday's game tied for second in the AL with 15 triples after Seager's pair on Monday. Seattle hit 17 triples in all of 2013. Seager and Michael Saunders lead the team with three each.
• The only teams in the Majors with a record better than Seattle's 22-15 since April 23 are the Giants (26-10) and Blue Jays (23-15), while the A's are also 22-15 in that span.
• Robinson Cano was back in the lineup for a second straight day on Tuesday and McClendon said the second baseman had no after-affects from the bruised hand that sidelined him the previous four games.