Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 4/24/15
Mariners Sailing Fast After 7-2 Road Trip I think it’s safe to say that the Seattle Mariners have righted the ship.  An eight-game losing streak had a number of fans saying, “Here we go again,” but the McClendon’s crew has shown some stiff upper lip by going on a very tough road trip through New York, Houston and Oakland and coming away 7-2. That, my friends, is pretty darn good baseball. The Mariners find themselves over .500 and just 1.5 games out of first place.  Seattle hasn’t had a start this good since 2009. The Numbers  Seattle has revived its winning ways in large part thanks to some better hitting in the top two spots in the order.  In particular, Michael Saunders has been red hot since taking over as the M’s leadoff hitter. In the month of May, since taking over as the leadoff guy, Saunders is batting .297 including two doubles and with four RBIs.  Saunders has also swiped seven bags in May.  He has been the catalyst the M’s needed to get more ABs with runners in scoring position. The Mariners are currently batting .262 on the season with runners in scoring position.  That’s sixth-best in the big leagues.   If you look at RISP with two outs, the M’s are even more impressive.  They are batting .273 on the season in those situations, which is second overall in MLB. Leading that RISP attack is not who’d you’d think in Robinson Cano.  It’s Justin Smoak who’s really driving in runs with two outs.  His line with runners in scoring position and two outs is flat-out ridiculous. Michael Saunders has been red hot. Photo:Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports) Consider this: .533 average with 2 doubles, 2 homers, and 14 RBIs.   His OPS is over 1.600 in that situation. Corey Hart has done his fair share in those situations as well.  His numbers are almost as impressive: .444 average with 1 double, 1 homer and 7 RBIs.  His OPS is over 1.400 in that same situation. The Schedule If you are a believer in home-field advantage, you have to think that the remaining May schedule for the Mariners works in their favor. After the M’s finish a three-game series with the Royals and the Rays, they head on a very short road trip to Minnesota for three games and Texas for just two games.  After that it’s a very long home stand to finish out the month. The M’s home stand spans 11 games through June 1 and includes visits from the Astros, Angels and Tigers. Outside of the Tigers, these are all teams the M’s have proven they can handle this year.  Hisashi Iwakuma made lunch out of the Royals on Thursday night, throwing eight innings of shutout ball and the Rays have pitching issues thanks to injuries. On that brief road trip, the Twins won’t be a picnic, but Joe Mauer has been sitting with back problems and there is no word on when he might return.  That makes the Twins far less dangerous.  The Texas series is just 2 games and the M’s have played tough against Texas so far. On the big home stand the Astros are up first.  The Astros are a team the M’s should walk over the way they are currently playing.  The Angels then come to town and the M’s put a whoopin’ on them in Anaheim to start the year. The scary part of the schedule in May is that last series against the Tigers.  Detroit is an offensive juggernaut and the M’s hurlers will certainly have their hands full with Miguel Cabrera and company. Speaking of M’s pitching, working in their favor is news that starters James Paxton and Taijuan Walker are both beginning to throw bullpens.  M’s GM Jack Zduriencik stated earlier this week that he expects Walker and Paxton to both be back in action by June 1.  That would be great news headed into that series with Detroit. Fortune Teller Gazing into my crystal ball, barring an injury to key players, I foresee the M’s in first place by June 1 with a record that is eight or more games over .500. That sound you hear?  That’s the M’s fans jumping back on board.   Ahead full M’s fans! CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jon Jones wanted for questioning in hit and run

Pitcher throws perfect game with 23 strikeouts, still loses

Will LaMarcus Aldridge leave the Portland Trailblazers?

Wizards sweep listless Raptors

Clippers defeat Spurs, even series at 2-2


JR Smith 'nervous as hell' about possible suspension

Dana White: No more WWE for Ronda Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk for 'bush league' play

Report: Eli Manning not concerned about contract

Several teams interested in Bucs' No. 1 overall pick?

Report: Marcus Smart overslept, could get less playing time

Paul Pierce burns Raptors fans with epic troll job

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

WATCH: Former NBA’er Darko Milicic is enjoying life

WATCH: Alex Gordon leaps into stands for incredible catch

WATCH: JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in face

WATCH: Kevin Love leaves Game 4 with shoulder injury

Joe Flacco content with current Ravens receivers

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Will Aldridge leave the Blazers?

Alex Gordon leaps into stands for catch

Dana White: No more WWE for Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk

JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder

Report: Wainwright likely done for year

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.