In a year full of strategic lineup changes and roster moves for the Mariners, Sunday was no different for Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon.
Erasmo Ramirez was called up from Class AAA Tacoma, allowing the normal starting rotation to get rested up for the crucial series against Toronto beginning Monday. With the move, Felix Hernandez and Chris Young were pushed back a day, gaining an extra day of rest.
“I think anytime you have an opportunity to manipulate your roster to help you win games, you should take advantage of it,” McClendon said. “It gives us an opportunity to rest some of our horses here. … When you have a chance to give guys an extra day, you do it.”
Ramirez, who allowed no runs and four hits in 41/3 innings, was optioned back to Tacoma after the game, with the Mariners planning to make a roster move Monday.
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A bad end to Saturday night’s game for the Mariners was a dismal one for shortstop Chris Taylor.
After heading to the 10th inning tied 1-1, the Mariners had Chicago on the ropes, with two outs in the top of the inning. A ground ball from Gordon Beckham moved toward Taylor, who jumped at it in between bounces. His error allowed Chicago to get Conor Gillaspie up for an at-bat, and he singled in Jordan Danks for the go-ahead run.
Chicago held on to win 2-1.
It was a rough play for the rookie, who was called up July 24 and has played in 13 games, taking the starting shortstop position from Brad Miller.
“He made an error. Tough (stuff),” McClendon said. “It’s over with. It happens.”
Overall, McClendon has been pleased with the way Taylor had performed. Taylor is batting .400 in 45 at-bats. And on Sunday, he went 2 for 2 against Chicago with a single, double and walk.
“It’s not easy coming up as a rookie just playing, period,” McClendon said. “But to come up and be a vital part of the team who’s trying to make it to the playoffs, and produce, and play solid, that’s tough. But he’s handled it very well.”
It’s that time of year when the intensity of the playoff chase revs up, and the Mariners are taking notice.
After the 4-2 win over the White Sox on Sunday, Seattle remains 1½ games behind Kansas City for the final AL wild-card spot. As they take care of their own business (winning five of their past six games), the Mariners are starting to pay attention to everyone else’s, too.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look it up from time to time,” center fielder Austin Jackson said of other teams’ scores.
And McClendon was no different.
“I’ve been scoreboard watching since April,” he said. “I’m interested in everybody.”
• With a 1-for-4 performance, first baseman Logan Morrison extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He’s hitting .389 during the streak.
• Seattle took the series from the White Sox, winning three of four. The Mariners, who have struggled offensively all year, outscored Chicago 22-8 during the four games.