The Mariners, who were already without starting center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (stomach problems) and closer David Aardsma (left hip), took another hit when first baseman Justin Smoak left the team on bereavement leave.
Smoak, the team's top hitter in the early going (.291, two homers, seven RBI), left to be with his father, who was seriously ill at the time. Word came late Tuesday that Keith Smoak had passed away. Bereavement leave can last three to seven days.
To take Smoak's place on the roster, Seattle called up outfielder Carlos Peguero, who is one of the organization's top power prospects (56 homers in the last two-plus season) but who is short of experience. Peguero was called up after just 12 games at the Triple-A level with Tacoma, where he had a .311 average, two homers and seven RBI.
"He was at the top of the list of players I liked coming out of spring training," manager Eric Wedge said. "He's had a nice start to the season too, and that definitely is part of it."
The Mariners need all the help they can get, considering that they came into Tuesday with a 5-12 record thanks to a weak offense that was last in the American League with a .217 team batting average and first in the major leagues in men left on base.
The 24-year-old Dominican Republic-born Peguero, who found out midday that he'd be making the 30-mile trip between Tacoma and Seattle, said "This is one of the best days of my life."
He got his first taste of the big leagues with one inning of defense, replacing Ichiro Suzuki in right field for the ninth inning in Seattle's 13-3 win over Detroit. The 13 runs was the most scored by Seattle this season, the most since a 15-run outburst against San Diego last May 21.
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