Ackley’s stiff neck shuffles M’s lineup

SUNDAY, SEPT. 23, 2012

Seattle Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley was out of the lineup Saturday because of a stiff neck, but should be ready to return today.

Ackley was taken out of the game Friday in the fourth inning. “He’s better, but still needs another day,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “He should be OK for tomorrow. He woke up with it yesterday and it just got worse as we got into the game. So instead of pushing it and really taking a chance on missing some time, we got him out of there.”

Wedge said he debated between Franklin Gutierrez and Michael Saunders to replace Ackley at leadoff, opting for the former. The presence of lefty Matt Harrison on the mound for the Rangers – with four victories against Seattle this season and a 10-1 career mark – swayed his decision.

“I just felt against this guy tonight, who obviously has been tough on us, if we could get a few more right-handers on top that was the way to go,” Wedge said.

The decision to start rookie Luis Jimenez at designated hitter also was affected by the presence of Harrison, who beat the Mariners just six days ago.

“We’ve got a lefty today, a righty tomorrow. I’m thinking about maybe taking a look at him (Jimenez) for a couple days in a row and see where we’re at,” Wedge said. “We saw (Carlos) Triunfel last night and plan on getting him another start at some point in time, too. And we’re trying to give this guy another look, too. Give him somebody he hasn’t seen.”

Montero struggling

Jesus Montero entered the game Saturday just 3 for 21 (.143) on the home- stand. “We’ve seen some lack of discipline at home plate,” Wedge said. “He’s swinging at pitcher’s pitches, getting in a hurry up there. I think he’s showing his frustration from time to time. He’s had some young moments lately. But he’s got to fight through it. He can’t give into it.”


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