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Back in Texas, Smoak finds his power stroke

The SportsXchange

First baseman Justin Smoak has struggled offensively for the Seattle Mariners since being acquired in a trade in 2010.

However, he's been right on target for the most part against the team that dealt him, the Texas Rangers.

On Saturday, Smoak hit a two-run, game-deciding homer in the eighth inning. Sunday saw him strike again in the eighth inning, hitting a solo homer that turned out to be Seattle's only run in a 2-1 loss to Texas.

The switch hitter homered as a left-handed hitter Saturday and as a right-hander Sunday. He's particularly fond of hitting in Arlington, where he has seven homers in 18 games since being traded to the Mariners.

For the most part, Smoak has been a disappointment as a run-producer since joining the Mariners. His homer Sunday gives him 16 for the season, and he has a .199 average with 45 RBI.

"He should take a lot of confidence away from here," manager Eric Wedge said. "He just needs to take that confidence from here and keep going. What he did was real. You can see what he does for us offensively."
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