Ackley back in lineup for Mariners
Second baseman Dustin Ackley is back in the lineup and starting at second base on Tuesday night in Anaheim after missing the past two games with a sore neck.
The Mariners are down to their final nine games of the year and kick off a six-game road trip with a trio of games against the Angels, who are fighting for the playoff lives as they come in two games back of the A’s and Orioles in the Wildcard chase.
Seattle will face the Angels’ best shot — although not their best pitcher as Jered Weaver won Anaheim’s last game on Sunday against the White Sox. Instead, they get Zack Greinke today, C.J. Wilson on Wednesday and Ervin Santana Thursday.
The Mariners counter with rookie Erasmo Ramirez tonight, followed by Felix Hernandez on Wednesday and Hisashi Iwakuma on Thursday.
Ramirez has two last starts to show his stuff and he’s been pretty darn good lately. Ramirez has a 1.69 ERA over his past five outings, including two before he went on the disabled list in June.
There’s no secret as to what the Mariners will need to do to compete in this series. The club has hit relatively well in the second half, but not always in a timely fashion. They’re 1-for-40 with runners in scoring position over the past five games, which isn’t a recipe for success.
We’ll see if that changes tonight in Anaheim, which is a pretty good hitting park. Look for Jaso tonight. he’s batting .341 (24-of-82) with a .926 OPS against the Angels in his career.
Here’s tonight’s lineup:
Dustin Ackley 2B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Kyle Seager 3B
John Jaso DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Michael Saunders RF
Miguel Olivo C
Trayvon Robinson LF
Brendan Ryan SS
Erasmo Ramirez P