Fresh off a 2-1 series win in which they were -10 in the run differential category, the Seattle Mariners will travel South to take on the daunting Los Angeles Dodgers.
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This of course means that the pitchers will hit, with James Paxton being the first one up. The big lefty is 0-2 career with a walk. But that isn’t the only change in the line-up. Dustin Ackley will be hitting in the lead-off spot and playing center field.
Ackley has been a difference-maker thus far for Lloyd McClendon with two home runs in just 14 at bats. But not only has he come up with big hits, he has come up with them in clutch spots. In both of Seattle’s comeback victories in Oakland, the Mariners had absolutely nothing doing offensively until Ackley got them going, litterally. Both his 3rd inning home run in their 5-4 comeback on Saturday and his 6th inning lead-off double in their 8-7 win on Sunday ended no-hit bids for Oakland pitchers. The M’s would have lost both games if not for Ackley scoring the first runs in each of them.
We’ll see how the Ack-attack does, but if he has another multi-hit day and wreaks as much havoc in front of Smith/Cano/Cruz/Seager as he has from the bottom of the order, it might be difficult to move him back down.