Seattle Mariners

Mariners’ Trumbo believes he’s ready to turn on the power

Mark Trumbo greets his Mariners teammates after a home run July 24 against the Blue Jays.
Mark Trumbo greets his Mariners teammates after a home run July 24 against the Blue Jays. The Associated Press

SEATTLE — It’s Tuesday afternoon and, well, you decide: Was this a called shot?

Mark Trumbo sat in front of his locker and reflected on his last 30 games, which he viewed as a step — but only a step — in the right direction.

He was batting .320 in that span, which represented a marked turnaround from a dismal first month with the Mariners after arriving in a June 3 trade from Arizona.

Trumbo still hadn’t displayed much power, which is the quality that prompted the Mariners to surrender catcher Welington Castillo, a much-sought asset they had only recently acquired in a deal with the Chicago Cubs.

The power is coming, though, Trumbo vows.

“I wholeheartedly believe that,” he said. “Usually, it comes, and I can put together some stretches where I do drive the ball pretty well. I anticipate I’ll have a couple of those, at least, as we finish here.”

So what happens?

Trumbo launched a three-run homer in his first at-bat in Tuesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. It’s not exactly Babe Ruth standing at the plate and pointing.

Still …

Trumbo averaged 32 homers for the Los Angeles Angels from 2011-13 before dipping last year to 14 at Arizona over 88 games in an injury-shortened season. He entered Tuesday with four homers in 52 games since joining the Mariners.

So, yes, Trumbo figures he’s due to bust out.

“But the main goal,” he said, “is to not abandon what’s helped me out. Keep that same mind-set. If I get into some counts where I have a little bit of leverage, maybe pick spots here and there (to turn it loose).”

Trumbo purposely turned small after a miserable 11-for-79 start to his career with the Mariners. Just see the ball and try to put it in play wherever it’s pitched.

“That’s exactly what I’ve tried to stick to, too,” he said. “Now with that, probably, comes a little less power. Or a lot less. But (in early July), I wasn’t doing much of anything. Just making outs.

“The easiest way for me to get back into a groove is to start with some smaller-type goals … but at least doing something positive.”

Now, he’s ready for the next step.

FURBUSH ON HOLD

While the Mariners refuse to call it a setback, lefty reliever Charlie Furbush still isn’t ready to depart on a minor-league rehab assignment after throwing 40 pitches Monday in his latest bullpen workout.

“It’s been much better,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He’s getting loose a lot quicker and with a lot less effort. We’ve just got to get to the point where it’s instant. In the bullpen, you don’t have time get warm. He’s real close.”

Furbush was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis after a July 7 appearance against Detroit. At the time, the decision to put him on the disabled list was viewed as a precaution — one minimized by the All-Star break.

But Furbush continued to report a pinch, albeit diminished, in his biceps as he began testing his recovery with a series of bullpen workouts that began July 28.

McClendon said Furbush won’t depart on a rehab assignment until he shows no symptoms. Once he does head to the minors, Furbush is expected to make only one or two appearances before returning to active duty

“He will do another bullpen Saturday in Boston,” McClendon said. “We’ll see where he is. Hopefully, this will be the one. He got better. He’s still progressing. Almost there. Not quite there.”

Furbush was 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 33 games before his injury and had retired all 16 of his inherited runners.

CRUZ: 20 AND COUNTING

Right fielder Nelson Cruz carried a 20-game hitting streak into Tuesday’s game, which marked a career high and is the longest active streak in the majors.

Cruz is batting .414 in his streak, with 36 hits in 87 at-bats. He also has 12 homers and 16 RBIs.

Only two other MLB players have hitting streaks this season of at least 20 games.

Toronto shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had a 21-game run from June 15 to July 9 while playing for Colorado. Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis went 20 games from June 3-26.

Cruz’s streak is the longest by a Mariner since Mike Carp had a 20-game run from July 30 to Aug. 21, 2011. The Mariners have 14 hitting streaks of 20 or more games, by eight players, in their 38-year history.

The club record is 27 by Ichiro Suzuki from May 6 to June 3 in 2009. He was 47 for 118 in that span for a .398 average. Suzuki has seven of the franchise’s 14-game streaks of 20 games or more.

Seven other players, including Cruz, have one streak of 20 games: Joey Cora, Richie Zisk, Dan Meyer, Carp, Yuniesky Betancourt and Alex Rodriguez.

NINE DOWN FOR NUNO

Lefty Vidal Nuno is streaking in the opposite direction with losses in nine consecutive decisions over 17 starts and 38 games with three clubs over the last two seasons.

All despite a 3.45 ERA in that span.

Nuno suffered his first setback as a Mariner on Monday when he gave up two runs in five innings in a 3-2 loss to Baltimore. It came in his second start and 20th appearance.

The nine-game streak started July 2, 2014, when Nuno lost to Tampa Bay in his first start and appearance for the New York Yankees.

After a July 6, 2014, trade sent him to Arizona for pitcher Brandon McCarthy, Nuno went 0-7 with the Diamondbacks in 14 starts, although he compiled a 3.76 ERA with them.

Nuno was 0-1 in three appearances this season at Arizona before coming to the Mariners in a June 3 trade.

MINOR DETAILS

Short-A Everett shortstop Drew Jackson, a fifth-round pick in June, extended his hitting streak Monday to 16 games by going 3 for 4 in a 4-2 victory at Vancouver (Blue Jays).

Jackson, 22, was picked Monday as the Northwest League player of the week for the second time in three weeks. He leads the league with a .392 batting average and a .448 on-base percentage.

He has scored a league-leading 46 runs in 38 games while stealing a league-leading 32 bases in 35 attempts.

LOOKING BACK

It was six years ago — Aug. 12, 2009 — that Ken Griffey’s walk-off single in the 14th inning lifted the Mariners to their first 1-0 victory in extra innings.

Griffey batted as a pinch hitter for catcher Rob Johnson and lined a two-out single to deep right against Tony Pena that scored Adrian Beltre from second base.

It was the ninth walk-off hit of Griffey’s career.

SHORT HOPS

Third baseman Kyle Seager leads all players in games since the start of the 2012 season with 587. Second baseman Robinson Cano ranks second overall with 586. … Franklin Gutierrez had a homer and a double in Monday’s loss, which marked his first game with two extra-base hits since Sept. 18, 2013. … Baltimore outfielder Adam Jones, the Mariners’ first-round pick in 2003, has four career homers against his former club — all at Safeco Field. … The Mariners are 22-20 in one-out games after Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Orioles.

ON TAP

The Mariners and Orioles conclude their three-game series at 12:40 p.m. Wednesday at Safeco Field. Seattle right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (3-2, 4.41) will face Baltimore right-hander Kevin Gausman (2-3, 456).

The game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest and heard on 710 ESPN.

The Mariners have an open date Thursday before a six-game trip, which begins with three weekend games against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The trip concludes next week with three games at Texas.

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Mariners’ hitting streaks of 20 or more games

Ichiro Suzuki, 2009

27 games

Ichiro Suzuki, 2007

25 games

Joey Cora, 1997

24 games

Ichiro Suzuki, 2001

23 games

Ichiro Suzuki, 2004

21 games

Ichiro Suzuki, 2001

21 games

Richie Zisk, 1982

21 games

Dan Meyer, 1979

21 games

Nelson Cruz, 2015

20 games*

Mike Carp, 2011

20 games

Yuniesky Betancourt, 2007

20 games

Ichiro Suzuki, 2006

20 games

Ichiro Suzuki, 2004

20 games

Alex Rodriguez, 1996

20 games

— through Monday.

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