SEATTLE -- One of the biggest surprises for the Mariners this season has been the ongoing offensive struggles of second baseman Dustin Ackley, but the 24-year-old has shown signs of coming around, and he racked up three hits in Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Rays.
Ackley was batting .225 going into Wednesday's series finale with Tampa Bay but is 6-for-21 over his last five games and continues being a big part of Seattle's success. Ackley is hitting .302 in games the Mariners have won, compared with .160 in losses.
The club is also 31-26 when he bats leadoff.
"I love the way the guy gets down the line, that was evident on his third hit [on Tuesday]," said manager Eric Wedge. "He's been competing better at home plate, he's been doing a better job of covering that pitch away and driving it the other way.
"His BP's been much more consistent. I think he's fouling off some pitches that at times before he was taking two strikes and getting punched out on looking. So he's working to get another pitch, protecting the plate better. I don't think he's there yet, but I think he's more consistently putting himself in a better position to hit."