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Olivo shows pop in cleanup spot

The Sports Xchange
Notes, Quotes · Roster Report · Olivo shows pop in cleanup spot

Miguel Olivo hasn't spent much time batting cleanup in his career, but the Mariners have used their starting catcher there the last two games, and early indications are that he might remain in that slot for a while.

For one thing, designated hitter Jack Cust has been in a season-long slump. Out of the lineup Sunday, Cust was back Tuesday, but moved down to the No. 6 slot, where he singled in the last of his four at-bats.

Olivo, who walked twice and had extra bases taken from him by Oakland's Coco Crisp on Sunday, homered in his first at-bat Tuesday, ending an 0-for-10 slide, then doubled his next time up. His offense helped the Mariners earn a 7-3 win at Detroit.

Historically, however, Olivo has some of his best productivity when he spends his time as a designated hitter.

A career .246 hitter, Olivo's average soars to .265 when he is the DH. And he has 11 homers in 121 at-bats as a DH, a much higher percentage than his 100 homers in 2,826 at-bats when he's not the DH.

Olivo's homer, his first of the year, was a bit of a fluke. He smashed a line drive to left that Detroit left fielder Ryan Raburn should have caught, but the ball hit off Raburn's glove and carried over the wall.

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