Watch: Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez blasts 2nd HR of season

May 12, 2024, 2:50 PM | Updated: 6:55 pm

Seattle Mariners Julio HR A's 2024...

Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners rounds the bases on a homer against Oakland on Sunday. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

It’s been a rough start to the season for Seattle Mariners superstar Julio Rodríguez. After launching a combined 60 home runs over a sensational first two years in the majors, Rodríguez entered Sunday with only one long ball through 40 games.

With two big swings, Rodríguez gave a loud reminder of his immense talent.

Rodríguez hammered a two-run homer off Oakland starter Alex Wood in the second inning of Sunday’s series finale, sending a 409-foot shot to center field that registered a 109 mph exit velocity. It was Rodríguez first homer of the season at T-Mobile Park. His only other homer this year came on April 23 at Texas.

In his next at-bat, Rodríguez nearly homered again. Facing reliever Kyle Muller in the fifth, Rodríguez doubled off the top of the wall in left-center field, missing a home run by mere inches.

Rodríguez’s second-inning blast broke an 0-for-13 slump. He suffered some poor batted-ball luck Saturday night, when he went 0-for-4 despite recording three 100-plus mph exit velocities – including a 110 mph line drive right back at Oakland starter Joey Estes.

On Sunday, Rodríguez’s homer came on an 88 mph sinker and his double on a 92 mph fastball. Mariners manager Scott Servais said before the game that keying on the fastball would be key for Rodríguez going forward.

“I think (it’s) just trying to make it simple,” Servais said. “Get on the fastball, and that’s about as simple as you can make it. … You see all the breaking stuff, but you’re gonna get a fastball at some point. You have to be on it and ready to hit it. Don’t start guessing. We’ve seen that happen with some of our players at certain times – looking for certain pitches, and then they take the pitch they can actually hit, looking for the pitch that they’re not as good at hitting.

“But with Julio, it’s just stay on the fastball. … If he continues to do that, he’ll get the results.”

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