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After Wedge's challenge, Figgins takes the lead

The Sports Xchange
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Chone Figgins got a wakeup call from manager Eric Wedge, who said in a pregame meeting with the media that Figgins' time to lay firm claim to the club's leadoff spot in the batting order was not unlimited.

Figgins was 1-for-18 with nine strikeouts at the time Wedge spoke. The third baseman-turned-left fielder then erupted with a three-hit game, including delivering a double in the seventh inning that broke a 4-4 tie as the Mariners completed a sweep of the Tigers in Detroit with a 5-4 victory.

The strikeouts in particular were a mystery to Wedge, who said: "I didn't see that one coming."

Figgins, given the chance to lead off with Ichiro Suzuki moved to the No. 3 slot, got off to a quick start with a .303 average and .343 on-base percentage in his first eight games, then went into a tailspin.

Wednesday saw Wedge give Dustin Ackley his first chance to lead off, with Figgins getting his first day off, and Ackley responded with three hits and three RBI.

"I like Ackley in the leadoff spot," Wedge said. "Maybe that's where he ends up. We're still giving Figgins the opportunity. He needs to do it. It's as simple as that. If he does, he'll be in there. If not, we'll make a change."

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