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McClendon gives Ackley rest for finale

McClendon gives Ackley rest for finale

PHILADELPHIA -- Though Dustin Ackley has been swinging a hot bat of late, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon gave the outfielder a day off from the starting lineup on Wednesday to rest a sore back and also take advantage of Thursday's off-day.

"It's a chance to give him two days, actually," McClendon said. "He's been going at it real hard. This is a chance to get him cleaned up and ready for the stretch run. I just thought we should take advantage of it."

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McClendon did summon Ackley to pinch-hit in the eighth inning of the Mariners' 4-3 loss to the Phillies, and Ackley struck out with a runner on second.

Ackley, who went 4-for-7 with three doubles in the first two games of the series, is hitting .313 in 31 games since the All-Star break to hike his average to .252.

Ackley had started 33 straight games prior to Wednesday, and he's dealing with some minor issues, but nothing serious.

"He's dinged up," McClendon said. "Everybody is dinged up this time of year. He's got a little sore back, but he's OK. This will freshen him up and get him off his legs for two days, and we'll get him back in there."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

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