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Originally published June 13, 2014 at 8:32 PM | Page modified June 13, 2014 at 10:11 PM

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Logan Morrison knows the Mariners are in need of his hitting talents right now

After an injury and time in the minors, Logan Morrison has found the groove in his swing

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Logan Morrison can look around the clubhouse and know he’s needed.

With Corey Hart, Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders all on the disabled list, the Mariners could really benefit if Morrison can give them some production commensurate with his vast potential.

They got a glimpse of what he could provide in the 6-3 defeat Wednesday against the Yankees. In his second game back from a 52-game stint on the disabled list, Morrison belted his first homer of the season and also added a run-scoring double, providing much of the Seattle offense for the night.

“I know what I’m capable of when I’m healthy,” he said. “I feel, as every hitter should when they step in the box, that there’s no pitcher better than them. Now it’s up to me to execute, swing at good pitches to hit and put the barrel on it. Then whatever happens, happens.”

Morrison suffered the hamstring strain just before a game in Texas on April 15. He was hitting just .125 at the time. When Morrison was finally healthy to return, manager Lloyd McClendon made it clear he would spend all of the allotted 20 days of a rehab assignment getting his hitting in order. Morrison played in 18 minor-league games, hitting .308 (20 for 65) with two doubles and three homers.

“There’s no question about it,” McClendon said. “The biggest mistake we can do is if a guy gets hurt, have him go down and get three days of at-bats and think he’s going to be ready. I told him when he left that he’d come back here when he was swinging the bat well, and I think it’s paid off. He’s got a little bit of a groove going and is feeling good about what he’s doing and it helps.”

Morrison said he felt all the at-bats helped to find his approach and feel at the plate.

“It’s been huge. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t even have a feel for what was going on. Everything was to the second baseman. Now when I hit the ball to the second baseman, at least I know what I did. Now I have to correct that and maybe not hit so many there.”

Hart hitting on the field

Corey Hart made another step in his recovery from a strained hamstring, taking batting practice on the field Friday.

Hart had taken swings only in the batting cage in the past week.

“I feel better,” he said. “I haven’t had any setbacks. I’m just doing the normal stuff. I want to make sure I don’t go backward.”

Hart suffered the hamstring injury May 19 while trying to steal second in Minnesota. The recovery might seem slow to some, but after undergoing multiple surgeries to both knees, this recovery has been a breeze by comparison.

“I’m used to worse things, so it’s actually going pretty quick,” he said. “It’s coming along well. I don’t see it being too much longer.”

Mariners extend contract with Everett

The Mariners announced they have extended their player-development contract with the Everett AquaSox for the 2015-16 seasons. The current contract for the Short-A affiliate in the Northwest League was set to expire after this season.

“It is wonderful for the Seattle Mariners organization to have a Northwest affiliate so close to Seattle,” said Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik in a news release. “We have a great relationship with the Everett AquaSox ownership and everyone involved with the entire operation. It is great that the AquaSox and the Mariners can share such a strong fan base in the Northwest.”

The AquaSox have been affiliated with the Mariners for 20 seasons, dating back to Sept. 12, 1994.

“We are excited that future Mariners will continue to get their start here in Everett,” said AquaSox Executive Vice President Tom Backemeyer.

The Mariners have started several top draft choices with the AquaSox, including Adam Jones, Mike Zunino and D.J. Peterson.

Ryan Divish: 206-464-2373


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