NEW YORK -- Mariners skipper Lloyd McClendon had young shortstop Brad Miller and left fielder Dustin Ackley out of the starting lineup for Tuesday's series-opening 6-3 win over the Yankees, but he said both decisions were simply based on the opponent: tough left-hander CC Sabathia.
Veteran utility man Willie Bloomquist started at shortstop for the third time in the past four games in place of Miller, who is hitting just .174.
"I did not want to put Miller back in the lineup against CC," McClendon said. "Giving him another day will not hurt as well."
Ackley entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and finished the game 2-for-2 with a run scored and another driven in.
McClendon indicated that Bloomquist could get more playing time in similar situations going forward until Miller heats up.
"I'll probably try to protect him as much as I can," McClendon said. "I would say I don't expect a platoon situation at short, but if there are some real nasty lefties out there like CC, you could probably see me giving him a breather. He just has to grind it out and get some positive results. That's it in a nutshell."
Cole Gillespie started in place of Ackley in left field, as he did against left-handers in two of the three games against the Rangers.
"Just giving Ack a breather, also against a tough lefty," McClendon said. "He's my left fielder, and he'll play."