SEATTLE -- Hoping to kick-start his struggling offense, Mariners manager Eric Wedge reinserted Dustin Ackley at the top of the lineup and put veteran Ichiro Suzuki into a new role, hitting second. In the fourth game of the experiment, Wedge got the results he wanted.
Saturday evening against the Rangers, Ackley led off with a lengthy at-bat that ended in a walk. With the middle infield pinched toward the second base in hopes of a double play, Ichiro grounded a ball through the right side to put runners on the corners with no outs.
"That hole then opened there, Ichiro being able to find it," Wedge said. "Boom, you wake up and it's first and third, nobody out, and you've got something going and you put pressure on your starter right there.
"I like Ackley up there, with Ichi in the two-hole, that type of situation opens up holes, or if we get action on the bases, it opens other holes, especially up the middle. With the way Ichi hits the ball, I think it's going to help him."
Ackley has put up some of his better numbers this season in the leadoff role, hitting .258 with three home runs, 15 RBIs and 14 walks in 30 games.