Scott Servais credits Mariners’ preparation for strong road record

May 20, 2016, 11:41 AM | Updated: 3:10 pm

CINCINNATI – So what is it about road for this Mariners team?

Hitting a full 50 points higher and slugging almost 100 points higher on the road has helped the Mariners to a 15-7 away record, their third-best road start through 22 games away from home in club history.

“We’ve played well on the road and we have a lot of confidence,” said manager Scott Servais. “Our starting pitchers have kept us in games and we have got a lot of big hits on the road. A few extra home runs on the road have benefited us, and that’s the key. You have got to hit on the road and we have.”

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Another key to winning on the road, scoring early. Putting the opponent behind the 8-ball from the get go. Wade Miley, who has been on both sides of this equation, says the offense can help the starting pitching.

“It’s always good when we score runs early in the game,” he said. “It allows the starting pitcher to get in a rhythm and execute the game plan.”

We have seen the results. The Mariners have outscored their opponents 25-9 in the first inning this year, the biggest differential they have of any inning. When they scores first, their record is 16-6. Preparation is the key, according to Servais.

“The thing that’s exciting for me is we are ready to play,” he said. “We’re prepared to play, we have an idea, Edgar, the entire staff gets our guys ready about what to expect early in the game. We are not playing our way into the game where you look up and now it’s the fourth, fifth inning. It’s important for us, it’s important for any team. When you jump out ahead it settles everyone down, especially the starting pitcher.”

Ready to play versus playing their way into games. Sounds basic until you actually see it. Servais and staff have given this team more tools to be ready. With iPads with personalized reports and videos that players can use daily rather than just first-day-of-series hitters meetings, it would appear more intense preparation is paying off.

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