Zunino, who also struck out twice, boosted his average to .139 in 36 at-bats this season.
"It's fine," Zunino said to the News Tribune. "It was one of those freak things. I went to go tag him and not knowing where he was at. I had to get there quickly. I threw it into him, and jammed it a little bit. But it feels good."
Manager Lloyd McClendon just wants Zunino to relax more while he's at the plate.
"He's pressing a little bit right now," McClendon said. "We've got to get him to relax a little bit. Get back into the strike zone."
Zunino picked up his first multihit performance of the season Sunday but is 0 for 9 over his last two games. He has hit just .115/.179/.115 in 26 at-bats.
Zunino totaled just three hits -- all singles -- in 17 at-bats through the first week of the season. He also had no RBI, two walks and six strikeouts.
Zunino hit .274 with one triple, three home runs, four doubles, eight runs, 11 RBI, one walk and 22 strikeouts in 20 games in March/April last season.
“He came in in great shape and there’s some things we wanted to see him do this spring and he’s starting to do them,” McClendon said Tuesday. “Taking charge of the staff, running that staff, getting them to do the things he needs them to do to be successful during the course of a game. Sometimes you have to pull the whip out. He’s done all those things. I think it’s taken him the whole six weeks to get all of that out of the staff. That’s why he’s played as much as he’s played.”
Zunino, who hit .199 with 22 home runs last season, is batting .354 (17 for 48) with five doubles, seven home runs, 10 runs and 13 RBI in 18 spring games.
“I don’t think he was ready to do it last year. He was trying to get his feet wet his first full year in the big leagues as well,” McClendon said. “I think he’s learned this staff. He knows he can be successful in this league and the maturation process has brought him to this point in his career.
“He’s been on the fast track from the start and he hasn’t disappointed. It’s mind blowing, if you really think about it, to think how far he’s come so fast.”
A year ago,
Part of the problem was Zunino's inability to put the ball in play with two strikes. This spring, Zunino has done a better job of being patient with two strikes against him. On Monday, Zunino hit a home run and a two-run double in Seattle's 5-3 win over the Angles.
The double came with Zunino down 1-2 in the count, before working it up to 3-2.
"That's what he's been working on all spring, the ability to put the ball in play with two strikes," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said, via MLB.com. "The knowledge and understanding to know what they're trying to do to you in those situations. He's continues to grow in that. He's gotten better this spring with it."
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|4/18/2015 vs Texas|
|vs Anderson (Career)||1||0||0||0||0||0|
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