Branyan accepting role as a bench player

Branyan accepting role as a bench player

Branyan accepting role as a bench player
ARLINGTON -- At 35, having worn the uniforms of one-third of the franchises forming the Major Leagues, Russell Branyan has come to a point where he is comfortable with whatever his manager wants him to be.

In the case of the Angels and Mike Scioscia, that means occasionally carrying his bat to the plate with the notion of hitting a ball out of the yard, something he has done once every 15.1 at-bats in his career. Only 16 players have homered with more frequency.

"I try to keep a good strike zone, have pitch awareness, that sort of thing," Branyan said. "It's no easy task."

Branyan homered in Friday night's 11-7 loss to the Rangers, a three-run shot against reliever Yoshinori Tateyama. It was his fourth homer, with 10 RBIs, in his past 19 at-bats, dating to July 1.

"It's more of a mindset," said Branyan, who went deep 31 times for the Mariners in 2009 and 25 times for the Mariners and Indians last season. "It's owning your role. If you're not happy in your role, it's hard to produce. It's important to enjoy your role and enjoy your team.

"I'm at a certain point where I'm accepting this bench role. You can't fight it. If you do, you're going to struggle. When I was a starting player, I never wanted to hear a bench player complaining, saying they can do your job. We've got some good guys on this bench."

Branyan is 3-for-8 as a pinch-hitter with two homers. The rest of the club is 5-for-45 without a homer.