posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 07:53 PM
SEATTLE(AP) - In an effort to jump-start his struggling offense, Seattle Mariners manager Bob Melvin moved Ichiro Suzuki from the leadoff spot to No.
3 in the batting order for Saturday night's game against Montreal.
The last-place Mariners ended a 29-inning scoreless innings streak with Pat Borders' run-scoring single in the ninth inning for a 1-0 victory over the
Expos on Friday night. They hadn't scored a run since Monday night.
"I said all along, if we have some struggles in the middle of the order and we felt like we weren't scoring some runs, it got to a point where we
needed to change things up a little bit,"
Melvin said. "This is the day."
Saturday night's game was only the fourth that Suzuki, 30, has batted third in the majors. Former Mariners manager Lou Piniella used Suzuki as his No.
3 hitter June 2-4, 2002, and he went 8-for-14, including 4-for-5 at Baltimore on June 2.
This spring, Melvin used Suzuki as his No. 3 hitter in an exhibition game against San Diego on March 6. Melvin considers Suzuki to be the best leadoff
hitter in baseball, and expects him to be back in that spot soon.
"I don't envision him being our No. 3 hitter for the rest of the season,"
he said. "I'm just trying to give a different look here."
The Mariners have been shut out seven times this season, including Tuesday and Wednesday nights by Houston, the most in the AL this season. Their 240
runs going into Saturday night's game were the fewest in the league.
"Obviously, we've been having a tough time scoring runs,"
Melvin said. "Sometimes when you change things up a little bit, guys are in
different spots and it kind of takes the pressure off a little bit. We're trying to mix it up. That's all it is."
Suzuki, a three-time All-Star, is hitting .335 with three homers, 22 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.