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Ackley takes over as leadoff man

The Sports Xchange
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--2B Dustin Ackley, installed as the team's new leadoff hitter, singled in his first at-bat Friday. Ackley had been the regular No. 2 hitter, but his role changed when manager Eric Wedge moved Chone Figgins to a utility role. Ackley went 1-for-4 and is now 5-for-17 (.294) in four shots as the leadoff man.

--LF Chone Figgins was removed from the regular lineup for the time being by manager Eric Wedge. Figgins, hitting .189, had been in a 4-for-36 (.111) slide. He is now a utility player, the manager said. The two men talked before the game and Wedge said Figgins "took it like a pro."

--SS Brendan Ryan singled in his first two at-bats Friday. That brought to an end an 0-for-26 slide for the veteran, whom manager Eric Wedge described as too valuable because of his defense to take out of the lineup.

--LHP Jason Vargas took a shutout and a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning but left after a one-out double. He ultimately got a no-decision despite allowing just one run. It was the fifth time in seven starts he'd allowed two runs or fewer.

--C Jesus Montero will still be brought along as slowly as the Mariners can with C Miguel Olivo on the disabled list. Manager Eric Wedge said he sees plenty of starts for backup C John Jaso, although Montero has been behind the plate for three of the first four starts since Olivo suffered a groin injury. Montero had two hits Friday, and he is 16-for-32 (.500) with three doubles, three homers and eight RBI in nine games as a catcher.

BY THE NUMBERS
5 -- Consecutive games in which the Mariners have not score a run in the seventh, eighth or ninth innings.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"It was just a brain fart, and it cost us the ballgame." -- RHP Tom Wilhelmsen, whose failure to throw to the plate after fielding a bases-loaded grounder set up a three-run inning for the Twins in Minnesota's 3-2 win Friday.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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