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A couple news items after the Mariners’ 5-2 victory over the Mets tonight:
— Justin Smoak was optioned to Class AAA Tacoma after the game. The Mariners announced that they will make a corresponding move to call up a pitcher on Tuesday, and that’s undoubtedly Erasmo Ramirez, Tuesday’s scheduled starter.
“It’s tough. We’ve got three first basemen, and Willie (Bloomquist) can play there,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “Right now, that’s just the way it is. The numbers just don’t add up. Just go down and play well and hopefully he’ll be back.”
— Rookie left-hander Roenis Elias, who left the game in the sixth inning with a cramp in his pitching forearm/hand, said he was fine afterward.
“He just had a cramp in his hand, and I didn’t want to take a chance,” McClendon said. “He was outstanding, and that was really good to see. He threw the ball extremely well.”
Elias (8-8), in his first start in 12 days, had allowed only one run on 90 pitches in 5.1 innings. He struck out eight and walked two.
Elias had spent the All-Star break in Monterrey, Mexico, with his wife and young son.
“The rest definitely helped,” he said through a translator. “It especially helped seeing (my) family and seeing my son and my wife. It gave me more energy to go forward as the season goes along.”
Dustin Ackley, a sort of “Jekkyl and Hyde” hitter, as McClendon described him, was 3 for 4 and has hit safely in each of the four games since the All-Star break, hitting .444 (8 for 18). He’s 18 for 50 this month, good for a .360 average.
His best play, of course, came in left field, when he robbed Travis d’Arnaud of a home run in the sixth inning.
Ackley said he wasn’t even sure if he had caught the ball.
“I felt something,” he said. “Once I lost sight of my glove and the ball, I wasn’t really positive. I knew I felt something; I didn’t know if I felt it hit off my glove … but when I came down is when I knew I had it in my glove.”
Brandon Maurer was dominant again in relief, allowing just one hit with one strikeout in 1.1 innings. Maurer hasn’t allowed a run in nine games of relief, pitching 14 innings with six hits allowed and 17 strikeouts.
“I think he’s enjoying this role. I think he’s thriving in it … and he’s going to stay there.”