Here are a few quick notes on a fine Sunday morning before the Mariners complete their four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles (1:10 p.m., ROOT).
--- Manager Lloyd McClendon said outfielder Endy Chavez, who was scratched from the lineup Saturday after jamming his finger the day before, should be fine and is day-to-day, though "his finger is probably still a little sore."
--- On Sunday starter Roenis Elias and his progression as a rookie, McClendon said: "I think his last start was pretty good. He had command of his fastball, which helps his secondary stuff. I think probably 10-11 days off really helped kind of clean him up a little bit. He was probably fatiguing a little bit.
"I’ve said all year his stuff is pretty good. His biggest challenge is just commanding the strike zone. We just want him to continue to cut down on the walks and attack hitters and if he does that, he should have the chance to be pretty successful."
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--- McClendon was asked a few questions about placing outfielder Dustin Ackley in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, where he batted on Saturday and went 2-for-4 with two doubles. He's back in that position again this afternoon, his fourth start this season as the Mariners' No. 2 hitter.
"He runs well. You can do a lot of things with him," McClendon said, listing desirable traits for a No. 2 guy. "He’s got some power. Certainly can hit a lot of doubles, and he hits left-handers. I think it’s an ideal spot. It didn’t work out earlier in the year but I think he’s a lot more comfortable with where he is now as a hitter. I think it’s working out great."
The manager expanded on the thought that Ackley, who is hitting .358 in July through 20 games, is better equipped now to succeed in that spot in the order than he was earlier this season.
"I think he probably put a little bit too much pressure on himself the first time," McClendon said. "I can’t speak for him, but maybe he felt my expectations as to what I thought he should be in that spot were higher than they really were. But I think he’s comfortable in his own skin now and he’s feeling good about what he’s doing, and I think he’s more apt to handle it."
Ackley's recent production, McClendon said, is "what we’ve been looking for all year. He’s aggressive, he’s attacking the baseball and he’s using the entire field to hit. If he does that, he’s a dangerous guy. I think he can sustain that.”
And here are today's lineups:
CF James Jones
LF Dustin Ackley
2B Robinson Cano
DH Kendrys Morales
3B Kyle Seager
RF Corey Hart
1B Logan Morrison
C Mike Zunino
SS Chris Taylor
LHP Roenis Elias (8-8, 4.41 ERA)
RF Nick Markakis
LF Steve Pearce
CF Adam Jones
DH Nelson Cruz
1B Chris Davis
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Manny Machado
C Caleb Joseph
2B Jonathan Schoop
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (5-5, 3.91 ERA)