Mariners center fielder Jarrod Dyson has a simple explanation for his recent surge, which sends him into Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Tigers with a .348 average since May 27.
"When it’s rolling, it’s rolling," he said. "When it’s bad, it’s bad. That’s how it is."
Right now it’s rolling.
Dyson had three hits in Monday’s 6-2 victory over the Tigers, including singles just prior to each of Mike Zunino’s two homers.
"His on-base percentage continues to rise," manager Scott Servais said, "He’s got a little thing going. He’s telling Zunino the reason (Zunino) is hitting all of the homers is is because he’s hitting ahead of him, and he's always on base.
"There might be some truth to that. I certainly know that Dyce can get the pitcher’s attention on him. Maybe that helps out."
Zunino said there’s no doubt that it helps.
"Words can’t explain it," he said. "When you see a pitcher going over there, dropping down and picking off six or seven times. Stepping off. If you could see from my vantage point, the size of his lead, you know they’re thinking about him."
Dyson has a simple answer to that, too.
"My job is to get on base for him," he said, "and, hopefully, get him some good pitches to hit. And he’s been doing his job. I’ve been telling everybody, I don’t have to steal if Zee is going to keep doing that."
It’s no surprise that Dyson leads the Mariners with 17 steals, which rank second in the American League. After all his twitter handle is @mrzoombiya. (Mr. Zoom By You). Yes, he knows in his words, "what speed do."
But Dyson also has a career-high four homers, including an upper-deck shot last week at Minnesota. In seven previous seasons at Kansas City, Dyson managed just seven homers in 1,539 plate appearances.
"Just consistent at-bats, man," he said. "That’s the only way I see it. My frame is still the same. I don’t think I’ve made a dramatic change in my swing or stance or anything like that.
"It’s just that I’m getting consistent at-bats and putting good swings on pitches. When you get consistent at-bats, good things happen."
***Lefty Ariel Miranda (6-3 with a 4.17 ERA) looks to bounce back from a rough start at Minnesota when the Mariners continue their series Tuesday against Detroit at 7:10 p.m. at Safeco Field. He gave up six runs in four innings and suffered his first loss since April 22.
***The Tigers are starting right-hander Justin Zimmermann (5-5, 5.35). The game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest.
***Miranda’s only previous appearance against Detroit was a one-inning relief outing last Aug. 19 when he gave up one run in the 15th inning but got the victory when the Mariners answered with two runs.
***Zimmermann won both of his previous career starts against the Mariners despite giving up seven runs and 18 hits in 12 innings. His only previous appearance at Safeco Field came in 2014 while pitching for Washington.
***The Tigers have lost three in a row and eight of their last 11. The Mariners have won two in a row after losing six of eight.
It was 15 years ago Tuesday — June 20, 2002 — that Kazuhiro Sasaki became the Mariners’ all-time saves leader when he got the final four outs in a 3-2 victory at Cincinnati.
It was Sasaki’s 99th career save with Mariners, which moved him past Mike Schooler. Sasaki remains the franchise’s all-time leader with 129, followed by J.J. Putz with 101. Current closer Edwin Diaz has 29.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners