Ackley bats first in series opener

Ackley bats first in series opener

TORONTO -- Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley was back in the leadoff spot for the second time in three games on Friday as manager Eric Wedge sat Chone Figgins a day after Figgins went 3-for-4 against the Tigers.

Wedge said the Figgins decision was based on his "tough matchup" with Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero. Figgins is 0-for-8 with four strikeouts against Romero in his career.

Wedge also seems interested in seeing more of Ackley in the leadoff role, as well, after he went 3-for-6 with three RBIs in that slot in Wednesday's 9-1 victory in Detroit.

"I think he's pretty comfortable there because he's done it quite a bit for the short period of time he's been in pro ball," Wedge said.

Ackley said one thing he learned in that role in the Minor Leagues is that he needs to remain his own hitter and not try to take a lot of pitches or try a different approach just because he's batting first.

"I think that's what really got me in trouble in the Minor Leagues," Ackley said. "I was thinking, 'OK, should I be like a leadoff hitter and see a bunch of pitches and do this or do that?' But I think I'm a guy who sees a lot of pitches anyway.

"I'm just going to try to take the same approach I would in the two-hole, three-hole, five-hole. I'm up there looking for something to hit early and if I don't get it, I'll work the count. If not, get something to hit early and try to square something up."