A spring tradition: Mariners’ Kyle Seager heating up in May

Seattle’s third baseman has long had an April aversion. Maybe it’s him shaking off rust, maybe it’s him finding his groove, or maybe it’s just a fascinating coincidence. But Seager’s past week and a half is an indication, it appears April showers have again brought May power.

In this town, it’s not always easy to distinguish May from April.

Clouds still linger. Rain still pours. Temperatures still dip.

But if we’re talking about the Mariners, there is an ever-reliable indicator that the second month of the season is upon us: Kyle Seager is hitting again.

For whatever reason, Seattle’s third baseman has long had an April aversion. Last year he hit .159 during the first month. In 2015 just two of his 26 home runs came before May. In April 2014 Seager hit .229, his worst batting average of any month that year. And this year he had just one home run in April, marking the first time since 2013 that he hit fewer than two dingers in a month.

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Maybe it’s him shaking off rust, maybe it’s him finding his groove, or maybe it’s just a fascinating coincidence. But Seager’s past week and a half is an indication, it appears April showers have again brought May power.

“You go on little runs, weeks where you hit a lot of homers. It comes and goes,” said Seager, who entered Wednesday’s game vs. Oakland hitting .254 with four home runs and 22 RBI. “You can’t stress about hitting home runs, or a lot of other things will go awry.”

Seager said that Tuesday afternoon, a few hours before socking an eighth-inning solo home run off A’s reliever Ryan Madison to give the Mariners a one-run lead in a game Oakland went on to win. One night earlier, he took reliever Liam Hendricks deep in the eighth — this time with a runner on — to give the M’s insurance in a game they won 6-5.

There also was the 4-3 win vs. the Rangers on May 7, when Seager provided Seattle with the go-ahead run via a solo blast in, yes … the eighth inning.

In other words, Seager hasn’t just been potent for the Mariners this month, he has been clutch as well. If the bullpen would have been able to hang on Tuesday (yes, that’s an Everest-sized “if”), a Seager home run would have been the difference in three games over a 10-day stretch.

Meanwhile, his 22 RBI entering Wednesday were third on the team behind Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano, and his 18 walks were second only to Cruz. That’s the good news.

The not-so-good news? It still hasn’t been a stellar offensive year for the 29-year-old.

Before Wednesday night, Seager’s .396 slugging percentage was eighth on the team — 48 points below his career percentage, and .103 points below his total last year. His OPS (.735) also was eighth among Mariners (well, Mariners not named Yovani Gallardo, the pitcher who has two at-bats this year).

On Tuesday, Seattle manager Scott Servais acknowledged that…

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