Dustin Ackley should be ready to return to the Mariners’ lineup tomorrow, manager Eric Wedge said. Ackley, removed from Friday’s game in the fourth inning because of a stiff neck, underwent treatment on Saturday.
“He’s better, but still needs another day,” Wedge said. “He should be OK for tomorrow. He woke up with it yesterday and it just got worse as we got into the game. So instead of pushing it and really taking a chance on missing some time, we got him out of there.”
Wedge said he debated between Franklin Gutierrez and Michael Saunders to replace Ackley at leadoff, opting for the former. The presence of lefty Matt Harrison on the mound for the Rangers — with four wins against Seattle this season, and a 10-1 career mark — swayed his decision.
“I just felt against this guy tonight, who obviously has been tough on us, if we could get a few more right-handers on top that was the way to go,” Wedge said.
The decision to start Luis Jimenez at DH was also affected by the presence of Harrison, who beat the Mariners just six days ago.
“We’ve got a lefty today, a righty tomorrow. I’m thinking about maybe taking a look at him (Jimenez) for a couple days in a row and see where we’re at,” Wedge said. “We saw (Carlos) Triunfel last night and plan on getting him another start at some point in time, too. And we’re trying to give this guy another look, too. Give him somebody he hasn’t seen. If I’m doing the same thing over and over there’s a reason for it, because I think there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But with this guy, I think we’ve got to try to keep giving him different looks and try to figure it out a different way.”
Speaking of Triunfel, his strong arm on several throws Friday impressed the manager.
“I knew he had a good arm, but he caught my eye last night. He came across on that first double play and Smoaky came in with his hand shaking a little bit, literally. And of course, the play in the hole, that was pretty easy, throwing that on the line. He had a nice ballgame last night.”
Jesus Montero enters the game just 3 for 21 (.143) on the homestand.
“We’ve seen some lack of discipline at home plate,” Wedge said. “He’s swinging at pitcher’s pitches, getting in a hurry up there. I think he’s showing his frustration from time to time. He’s had some young moments lately. But he’s got to fight through it. He can’t give into it. That’s the challenge that is ahead of him for the next 11 games.”