Mariners' Seager aims to break slump vs. A's (Jul 07, 2017)
SEATTLE -- When a player is slumping, he will take suggestions from just about anyone.
For Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, that includes family members.
"I talk to my dad all the time, not just when I'm struggling," said Seager, who snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a second-inning single Thursday in the opener of a four-game series against the Oakland A's.
Adding of his brother, Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, Kyle Seager said, "Corey made a suggestion a couple of weeks ago about my hips."
Kyle Seager was asked if he had any qualms about taking advice from his younger brother.
"You look at his numbers?" Kyle Seager said.
Corey Seager is batting .299 with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs, and he will start at shortstop for the National League next Tuesday in the All-Star Game in Miami.
The elder Seager hasn't fared as well this season, producing a .252 average with 10 homers and 45 RBIs.
"Personally, I'd like if my numbers were a little bit better. It is what it is," Seager said. "You get on a little run, and then they can be where they're supposed to be."
Seager even got a day off from Mariners manager Scott Servais on Wednesday, his first since April 26.
"I think Kyle does a pretty good job of keeping things in perspective," Servais said. "I know any time guys aren't performing to what they are used to, it does bug them, and they want to get back into a good spot and getting it right. He puts a good face on."
Servais said Seager has had too many "in-between" swings, late on the fastball or early on breaking pitches.
"That's where you get the funky swings," Servais said. "Kyle, he's into his swing. He's always trying to tinker with it and find the right feel. And he just hasn't felt good, and you can see that in the results lately."
Seager did have four hits on June 30 against the Los Angeles Angels, preceding his 0-for-14 slump. However, he said he didn't even feel right in that game.
"Two of those were not the best swings," he said.
Things won't get any easier for Seager on Friday, when he and the Mariners will face Oakland left-hander Sean Manaea (7-4, 3.75 ERA).
Since taking a loss May 15 on the Athletics' last trip to Seattle, his first start since spending time on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, Manaea is 6-1 with a 2.84 ERA. He ranks third in the American League in wins and fifth in ERA in that span.
Manaea has limited left-handed batters, like Seager, to a .154 average this season, the best mark in the major leagues among pitchers with 80 or more innings.
"He's throwing strikes and getting on a roll," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Manaea. "Physically, he's had some hiccups (this season), but we knew when we got him he had a chance to be a top-of-the rotation guy with three plus pitches."
Manaea is 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA in five career games against Seattle, including 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA in two starts this season.
The Mariners will counter with left-hander James Paxton (6-3, 3.27).
Paxton is 2-0 with a 4.13 ERA in four career starts against the Athletics. He didn't factor into the decision in a 9-6 Mariners loss on April 20 at Oakland, when he allowed five runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out eight in and walked one in that game.
The A's won the series opener 7-4 on Thursday behind a three-run homer from Khris Davis and a solo shot from Bruce Maxwell. Paul Blackburn threw 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball for his first major league win in his second start.