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Originally published Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

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Dustin Ackley's bat gripped by June swoon | Mariners Notebook

The second baseman went 4 for 21 on the Mariners' trip and is hitting .219 this month.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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I'm confused. He seems to be striking out at the exact same rate this year as last. MORE
HE is awful.......not only cant he get base hits...he doesnt even hit the ball... MORE
"HE is awful.......not only cant he get base hits...he doesnt even hit the ball... MORE

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SAN DIEGO — Dustin Ackley has emerged as a surprising source of offensive concern for the Mariners.

Ackley was hitless in four at-bats Sunday, striking out twice, and went 4 for 21 on the trip (.190). He's hitting .219 in June (16 for 73), with 23 strikeouts and just two extra-base hits, both doubles.

Ackley's overall average has dropped to .243, with a .657 OPS. Last year, as a rookie, Ackley hit .273 with a .765 OPS.

Manager Eric Wedge doesn't believe there's any need for a radical adjustment by Ackley.

"I don't think so," he said. "I still think it's more about his approach and mindset. Recognizing what they're doing to him. He's going to have to make some adjustments. I know he's in the process of trying to do that.

"I know he's frustrated right now. He's going to be fine. He needs to recognize what's been going on for a period of time, and take that away from the opposition. ... We'll help him get there."

Ackley's strikeouts are particularly troubling. After fanning 79 times in 333 at-bats last year, he has struck out 66 times in 274 at-bats this season.

"He's not going to be a guy that's going to strike out like he is now," Wedge said. "He just has too much barrel to the ball. His hands are good. They're pitching him tough. He had a good break-in year last year, and they're pitching him tough. He just has to make that adjustment and take it away from them."

Notes

• It was an emotional afternoon for the Padres, who were told by manager Bud Black just 45 minutes before the first pitch that bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds had died at age 50 from pancreatic cancer. Akerfelds was a first-round draft pick by the Mariners in 1983 but was traded to Oakland after just 12 games in the minors with Class A Bellingham.

Kyle Seager was out of the Mariners' starting lineup because of a sore calf after fouling a ball off his leg Saturday. He came off the bench in the eighth to deliver an opposite-field double, ending an 0-for-10 drought.

• Left-hander Charlie Furbush worked two perfect innings and continues to dominate out of the bullpen. He struck out two, the 16th straight outing in which he's fanned at least one batter. Furbush has not given up a run since May 15. His scoreless streak is 19-1/3 innings over 14 appearances.

Felix Hernandez's win on Saturday snapped a 10-game losing streak by M's starters since Jason Vargas won June 4 against the Angels. Since then, Seattle starters had been 0-10 with a 7.39 ERA. The Mariners were 5-10 in that stretch, with all five wins going to relievers. The bullpen was 5-0 with a 2.61 ERA over those 15 games, recording four saves in four opportunities.

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