SEATTLE — After hitting seventh or maybe eighth in the Mariners batting get for most of the first 17 games of the season, Dustin Ackley found him self batting second on Monday against the Astros, as manager Lloyd McClendon looked to shake things up using a 1-6 road trip.
Ackley had a team-leading .279 batting regular and 10 runs have scored, and was tied for RBIs with 10 going into Mondays action, so McClendon said he wanted to get a hotter bat larger in the order.
Shortstop Brad Cooper, hitting .194 after 17 game titles in the No. 2 position, was dropped to 9th.
Weve been playing with the selection the last 3-4 days, just trying to get more production, claimed McClendon, who penciled in Ackley fifth the first time in Sundays 3-2 loss to the Marlins. Well see how things fall out. Hopefully hell almost certainly give us a spark.
Ackley, who has hit .345 over his very last eight starts, is one of the few recent Mariners bright spots offensively. He explained the key will be not changing his approach just because he has hitting in a different area in the order.
The minute My spouse and i start worrying about the technique I have to take for different locations in the lineup, thats when Im only hurting myself, he said. Whether Im hitting very first, fourth, third, ninth, no matter what, I have to take the same approach Ive taken the whole time since Ive started feeling effective in the plate. Thats just a thing I cant get away from.
Ackley hit .304 once the All-Star break last year and maintained that over to a strong springtime. That is far more important to them now than where he has been batting.
Its just mentally staying ready to hit from the 1st pitch on, he was quoted saying. If I start worrying about whether I should take these pitches, I have to work the rely, stuff like that, thats not exactly where Im at my best. I recently need to stay with the same strategy. The situation will dictate a great deal of that stuff, but for us its being up there willing to hit every pitch.
Miller took the move in stride as well.
Obviously we have to shake things up a small amount and I get that, Burns said. Ackley has been swinging excellent. Get him up there and get something going. But the exact same thing for me. Im still trying to do the same stuff.