Manager Eric Wedge benched slumping Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak, but a revamped lineup produced little against Oakland left-hander Tommy Milone on Sunday.
The Mariners tried to shake up their lineup on Sunday in an attempt to avoid a series sweep against Oakland Athletics left-hander Tommy Milone.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge sat the struggling Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak, moving Franklin Gutierrez into the leadoff spot, Kyle Seager to second base and Alex Liddi into the lineup at third. Mike Carp took over at first base for Smoak.
“It’s been a tough couple of days, so we’re going to give a couple of guys a different look at a left-hander,” Wedge said before the game, in which his team was indeed swept, losing 4-2. “I think that’s a positive thing.”
Milone won for the 12th time this season, tying an Oakland franchise record for victories by a rookie.
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Ackley had been 6 for 29 (.207) in September with an on-base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS) of .440. Over the past two weeks, he had hit just .184 with a .469 OPS.
Smoak is 4 for 22 (.182) this month with an OPS of .477, and he’s hitting .132 with a .353 OPS the past two weeks.
Ackley made a seventh-inning pinch-hit appearance, replacing Brendan Ryan. He grounded out on a chopper in front of the plate. Carp went 1 for 4 with three strikeouts while Liddi went 1 for 3 with a strikeout.
• Mariners starter Jason Vargas had reeled off six straight outings at home in which he’d gone at least six innings while giving up two earned runs or fewer. His chance at No. 7 vanished in the fifth inning when Jonny Gomes tagged him for a three-run homer.
• A solo homer given up by Josh Kinney in the eighth inning was just the second earned run allowed in eight September outings by Seattle’s bullpen. That covers a span of 22-1/3 innings.
• The Mariners had not been swept at home since the Padres did it to them on June 12-14.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @gbakermariners