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Whiffs weigh on Wedge

The Sports Xchange
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Manager Eric Wedge looks at his team's strikeout binge -- hitters have gone down flailing 53 times in the last five games -- and he's just about had it.

Seattle led the league last year with 1,280 strikeouts, and the Mariners are ahead of that pace after 26 games.

Wedge said that number is not one he wants to approach again.

"The strikeouts are ridiculous," Wedge said Wednesday after the Mariners dropped a 5-4 decision to Tampa Bay, Seattle's fifth consecutive loss after beginning the trip with four wins in succession. "We're better than that. If we have to change personnel or change roles, so be it."

Two players whose status on the team remains shaky are the shortstop, Brendan Ryan, and the third baseman-turned-left fielder, Chone Figgins.

Ryan struck out in all three of his at-bats Wednesday and is now hitless in his last 26 at-bats dating back to April 20. A dozen of the outs are strikeouts.

Figgins is 4-for-32 since April 21 after an 0-for-5 Wednesday in which he struck out three times, including as the final out of the game.

Ryan is hitting .125 and Figgins .198. And they aren't alone. First baseman Justin Smoak was lifted out of the cleanup spot Wednesday and moved to seventh, but he went 0-for-3 as his average fell to .184.

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