8/19/2014 1:25 A.M. ET
Mariners to mix up rotation order in Boston
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon confirmed that veteran right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma will move ahead in the rotation later this week and start Sunday's series finale in Boston, which will push rookie Roenis Elias back a day to open a the next home series in Seattle on Monday against Texas.
The move allows Elias to get an extra day of rest while keeping Iwakuma on his normal five-day rotation after starting Tuesday against the Phillies. The Mariners have an off-day on Thursday in the middle of their current nine-game road trip.
McClendon said the reasoning to flip Iwakuma and Elias was two-fold.
"I want Kuma against Boston, but we also have to watch Elias any time we can," McClendon said. "An extra day just makes sense. He's going into uncharted territory."
Elias is second among Major League rookies in innings thrown going into Monday's start against the Phillies and the Mariners are just bringing him back after a 10-day respite with Triple-A Tacoma to lighten his workload.
Iwakuma and James Paxton will pitch the final two games of the Phillies series on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Felix Hernandez, Chris Young and Iwakuma now set to face the Red Sox on Friday through Sunday. McClendon lined up his pitching the same way last week against the Blue Jays and swept that crucial three-game series in Seattle.
Hernandez, Iwakuma and Young have combined to go 36-15 with a 2.54 ERA in 71 games so far this season. That's the lowest ERA of any starting trio in the AL. The rest of Seattle's starters are a combined 15-23.
Mariners bring back Elias, send Jones to Triple-A
PHILADELPHIA -- Mariners left-hander Roenis Elias was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma for Monday's start against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
He filled the 25-man roster spot that was opened up when outfielder James Jones was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma after Sunday's 8-1 win in Detroit, and he walked six and allowed one run over four innings on Monday in the 4-1 loss.
Elias was sent down to Tacoma on Aug. 7 in order to lessen his workload and give the club some roster flexibility over the past 10 days. The 26-year-old Cuban made one start for Tacoma on Aug. 13, throwing five no-hit innings with one walk in New Orleans while striking out six.
Jones played in just four games in his third stint with the Mariners this season before being optioned back to Tacoma. He went 0-for-2 with an RBI and run scored while serving as a pinch runner and defensive replacement.
For the season, the 25-year-old rookie was hitting .256 with 39 runs and a club-leading 20 stolen bases, but he lost his starting center-field spot when the Mariners acquired Austin Jackson from the Tigers on July 31.
The decision to send Jones back down leaves the Mariners with just 12 position players as they've stayed with their eight-man bullpen, carrying an extra arm to continue bolstering a group that has the lowest ERA in the American League at 2.39.
"It's the identity of this ballclub," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "It's our foundation. If you start trying to put chinks in that foundation, that's not good. The sum is greater than the parts. I just don't see tinkering with it."
Felix good to go for Friday's start in Boston
PHILADELPHIA -- Mariners ace Felix Hernandez said Monday his hip is fine after taking a one-hopper off the bat of Ian Kinsler in the fourth inning of his last start on Saturday in Detroit.
"I'm good," Hernandez said upon arrival at Citizens Bank Park for the Mariners' three-game series with the Phillies.
Hernandez is slated to start Friday when Seattle opens a three-game set in Boston and manager Lloyd McClendon said there's no question the 28-year-old will be ready to roll after his five-inning outing in Detroit, which was the first time he'd thrown less than seven innings in his previous 18 starts.
Hernandez was lifted after 92 pitches, with the five innings equaling his low for the season and ending his Major League-record streak of 16 consecutive starts of seven or more innings with two or less runs allowed.
The American League's ERA leader may skip his between-starts bullpen session this week, but McClendon said that isn't unusual.
"He's fine," McClendon said. "He may push [his bullpen] back. I'm not sure. Sometimes he pushes it back, sometimes he doesn't even throw. But he's fine."
• With the Mariners making their first appearance Monday at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park, the club will now have played in every current ballpark except Citi Field in New York. In their franchise history, the Mariners have played now in 48 parks.
• Kyle Seager ranks ninth in the American League in RBIs with 77 after getting three more in Sunday's 8-1 win in Detroit. Seager has driven Robinson Cano in 22 times. Last year with the Yankees, no one player drove in Robinson more than 10 times in his 81 runs scored. He's tallied 67 runs so far this season.
• Logan Morrison was in the lineup in right field for Monday's Interleague opener against the Phillies, playing the outfield for just the fifth time this season and first since April 14 in Texas, when he left the game in the first inning after injuring his hamstring before he came to bat.
McClendon said he wanted Morrison's left-handed bat in the lineup at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, where he hit four home runs with a .236 average in 20 games while with the Marlins. With no DH in the National League park, Kendrys Morales was at first base on Monday.