Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, as expected, will be recalled Sunday from Triple-A Tacoma to make a spot start when the Mariners conclude their four-game series against Chicago at Safeco Field.
The Mariners created the need for an extra starter by realigning their rotation to get their top three pitchers — Felix Hernandez, Chris Young and Hisashi Iwakuma — positioned for the upcoming series against Toronto.
Ramirez, 24, opened the season in the big-league rotation but has spent much of the year shuttling between the Mariners and the minors. He is 1-5 with a 4.35 ERA in 12 major league starts.
“He threw the ball well (last time up),” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “Hopefully, he has that type of command again. If he does, we have a good chance of winning the game.”
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The Mariners must make a corresponding move Sunday to clear roster space for Ramirez. They are expected to option lefty reliever Lucas Luetge, recalled Friday, back to Tacoma.
Plans call for Ramirez to make just one start before returning to Tacoma. An open date Thursday means the Mariners won’t need a fifth starter until Aug. 19 at Philadelphia.
McClendon previously said lefty Roenis Elias will be recalled for the games against the Phillies.
Elias was optioned to Tacoma after last Thursday’s start in order to skip a turn in the rotation. The move was designed to limit his innings; he is already at 1342/3 after pitching just 130 last season in the minors.
Veteran utilityman Willie Bloomquist, one day after undergoing season-ending knee surgery, is on crutches — and will be for several weeks — but he is already feeling better.
“I’m actually in less pain than I was prior to going in,” he said. “They must have done something right. Obviously, it’s swollen and sore.”
The timing, though, couldn’t be worse.
“It’s been a tough pill to swallow,” Bloomquist admitted. “This is the situation where I wanted to be here ... in Seattle for a long time — being in a playoff race. For me, that stings a little bit. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t.”
Bloomquist was initially diagnosed with a bruised right knee when he came up limping July 23 after running out a ground ball in a 3-2 loss to the New York Mets.
Subsequent examinations revealed the need for surgery.
“My plan is to be ready, full go, before spring,” Bloomquist said. “I’m not going to push anything. The only way I won’t be (ready for spring training) is if I do something stupid.”
ZUNINO MUSCLING UP
The Mariners are still marveling at the three-run homer that Mike Zunino hit Friday night to right field — the opposite field — in a 4-1 victory over the White Sox.
“It’s in there,” first baseman Logan Morrison said. “He’s got the second-most pop I’ve ever seen behind (Giancarlo) Stanton.”
Morrison spent the four previous years in Miami playing alongside Stanton.
Zunino entered Saturday as the Mariners’ leader with 18 home runs, which left him just one shy of Miguel Olivo’s 2011 club record by a catcher.
“He’s as strong as most guys in the league,” McClendon said. “He’s a well-developed young man, and he’s probably going to get stronger.”
The White Sox recalled outfielder Jordan Danks from Triple-A Charlotte to replace outfielder Adam Eaton, who suffered a strained right oblique Friday on a swing in the first inning…The Mariners, prior to Saturday, were 6-2 since July 31 with five comeback victories…White Sox lefty John Danks, who starts Sunday, leads the American League with 23 homers allowed…The Mariners, through Friday, were 40-16 in games when they hit at least one homer.
Double-A Jackson third baseman D.J. Peterson, generally viewed as the organization’s top non-pitching prospect, is 17-for-77 (.221) in 21 games since returning from a bruised left wrist.
Peterson, 22, has four homers and 13 RBIs during that span — along with 10 walks, which helps boost his on-base percentage to .315.
Overall, he is batting .252 with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 36 games since his late June promotion from Advanced-A High Desert, where he batted .326 with 18 homers and 73 RBIs in 65 games.
Peterson was the Mariners’ first-round draft pick in 2013 and played this season in the All-Star Futures Game.
It was a year ago Sunday — Aug. 10, 2013 — that the Mariners inducted outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. as the seventh member of their Hall of Fame in front of a sellout crowd of 46,027.
Griffey missed former manager Lou Piniella’s induction on Saturday because he was being inducted into the Cincinnati Reds’ Hall of Fame.
The Mariners and White Sox conclude their four-game weekend series at 1:10 p.m. Sunday at Safeco Field.
Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (1-5, 4.35 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to start against Chicago lefty John Danks (9-7, 4.93).
Root Sports will broadcast the game.
The Mariners open a three-game series Monday against Toronto.