Wedge to stick with youth movement for now

Wedge to stick with youth movement for now

SEATTLE -- As the young Mariners offense continues to struggle, manager Eric Wedge said he believes, for the most part, the best thing for the players is to work through the problems at the big league level and not at Triple-A.

That comes even as the Mariners carried the second-worst batting average (.232) in the American League into Wednesday's finale against the Orioles. Additionally, they're hitting just .198 through 40 contests at Safeco Field.

"If I felt like that was the best thing for them, then I would have already done it," Wedge said. "It does not mean that ... we won't do it, but we don't feel like that that's where we're at right now. There's multiple reasons to send a guy out, but ultimately what the bottom line for me is, what's going to get the young man to be the big league hitter or player as quickly as possible? What's the best path for that?

"I'm always willing to ride it out, if that's best for them. Nobody is beyond being sent out, we just don't feel like it's been the right time this point in time just yet."

Nights like Tuesday, when the Mariners were no-hit through 6 1/3 innings before fighting back to tie the score late, can help carry the team in the right direction, Wedge said. With just one hit and one run through seven innings, the Mariners scored three times in the eighth to even the game.

"It was big for us to be so far out of it -- even though the score wasn't as such -- to be able to not just get the hit and score the run, but to fight back ... and tie it up," Wedge said.

"Of course it's not fun, but it's part of it, it's baseball," said Justin Smoak, who was 4-for-28 on the current homestand entering Wednesday. "The more you have good at-bats, the more you square balls up right at people, the more chance there is the ball's going to get through.

"It's something you have to keep doing, keep having those at-bats, keep having those swings. You're batting for good things to happen."