Dustin Ackley snaps 0-for-20 skid with two hits
The stuggling second baseman got a single and a double in his first two at-bats Thursday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Dustin Ackley has kept insisting to anyone who'll listen that he's close to getting his slumbering bat going again.
And he finally did that on Thursday, snapping an 0-for-20 slump with a single and a double his first two times up against Royals starter Luis Mendoza. But even before those hits, Mariners manager Eric Wedge had been expressing faith in his leadoff hitter who'd gone just 1-for-24 the past week.
"The last two or three days," Wedge said, "I like the way he's swung the bat.
"He's had some tough luck. He's hit some balls hard. Guys have made some good plays on him. He's just missed a few balls too. Sometimes, with those pop-ups, they look like a pop-up but if it's a good swing and you're just catching the bottom part of the ball, then you're just that far away from squaring it up."
Wedge and general manager Jack Zduriencik had resisted the urge to send Ackley to Class AAA. Instead, they sent only first baseman Justin Smoak, who, like Ackley, had struggled since before the All-Star Break.
• Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma has flown back to Japan for what the team called "personal reasons." Iwakuma is expected to return to Seattle on Saturday and make his scheduled start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.
This is Iwakuma's first season playing away from Japan, and his wife and two children reside here with him in the Seattle area.
• Onetime "Mr. Mariner" Alvin Davis has rejoined the team's player development department as a roving minor-league instructor.