Saunders dropped to sixth spot in lineup

Saunders dropped to sixth spot in lineup

SEATTLE -- Michael Saunders was hitting sixth for a second game in a row on Sunday as manager Eric Wedge looks to help take the pressure off the struggling center fielder.

Saunders has hit .116 over the last 11 games going into Sunday as his batting average has plummeted to .221 after a strong start this season.

Endy Chavez filled the leadoff role on Sunday.

"He's just really struggling seeing the baseball right now," Wedge said of Saunders. "I wanted to drop him down a little and give him a chance to take a breath and see some hitters hit before him. He tries to compensate, like a lot of young players, by trying to do too much to make up for it instead of just slowing it back down again.

"He's a great competitor, so this is a good test for him. He'll come out of it and be fine, but you can't try to get it all back in one day or one at-bat. Sometimes the worst thing you can do is try to go up there and get hits. You just have to go up there and have a good at-bat. You can't control if you get a hit or not. But you can control if you go up there and see the ball and put up a good AB. He just needs to get back to the basics there."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.