8/20/2014 6:01 P.M. ET
Zunino proving adept at getting plunked
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Zunino goes up to the plate looking for hits, not looking to get hit. But that hasn't stopped the Mariners' catcher from getting plunked 14 times this season, the most in the American League entering Wednesday.
"I lead in something, right?" Zunino said with a smile after getting hit by A.J. Burnett of the Phillies in the sixth inning of Tuesday's 5-2 win.
Zunino also leads the AL in home runs by a catcher with 18, so he's dished out some pain to opposing pitchers as well.
With a .210 batting average, the 23-year-old will take getting on base any way possible, but he certainly wasn't looking for a free pass against Burnett.
"I must lead [the league] in the ones where I can't get out of the way, because that one was coming right at me," said Zunino. "I feel any way I moved on that one, it was going to get me. The last place I want to get hit is the ribs, so I'll take one in the arm.
"What can you do? I'm the ugly finder, I guess."
Zunino has reached base more via being hit than being walked (13) in his first 101 games this season. The Mariners' season record for hit by pitches is 19, set by Jose Guillen in 2007.
Jon Jay of the Cardinals was leading the Majors going into Wednesday's games after getting hit for the 15th time on Tuesday. Starling Marte of the Pirates has also been plunked 14 times. Shin-Soo Choo of the Rangers is second to Zunino in the AL with 12.
The Major League single-season record for most times hit by a pitch is 51 by Hughie Jennings of the Orioles in 1896. The modern record is 50 by Ron Hunt of the Giants in 1971.
McClendon gives Ackley rest for finale
PHILADELPHIA -- Though Dustin Ackley has been swinging a hot bat of late, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon gave the outfielder a day off from the starting lineup on Wednesday to rest a sore back and also take advantage of Thursday's off-day.
"It's a chance to give him two days, actually," McClendon said. "He's been going at it real hard. This is a chance to get him cleaned up and ready for the stretch run. I just thought we should take advantage of it."
McClendon did summon Ackley to pinch-hit in the eighth inning of the Mariners' 4-3 loss to the Phillies, and Ackley struck out with a runner on second.
Ackley, who went 4-for-7 with three doubles in the first two games of the series, is hitting .313 in 31 games since the All-Star break to hike his average to .252.
Ackley had started 33 straight games prior to Wednesday, and he's dealing with some minor issues, but nothing serious.
"He's dinged up," McClendon said. "Everybody is dinged up this time of year. He's got a little sore back, but he's OK. This will freshen him up and get him off his legs for two days, and we'll get him back in there."
Mariners release potential playoff ticket information
PHILADELPHIA -- With six weeks remaining in the regular season and the Mariners in contention for their first playoff berth since 2001, Major League Baseball has granted permission for the club to begin offering tickets to potential postseason games at Safeco Field.
Mariners season-ticket holders have priority access to the initial offer, with the opportunity to purchase full or partial strips of tickets, depending on their plan. In addition, fans who make a deposit for new 2015 season tickets will also receive priority to purchase 2014 postseason tickets.
Current Mariners season-ticket holders were notified earlier this week about how they can secure their tickets for potential postseason games, including the American League Wild Card Game, AL Division Series, AL Championship Series and World Series. A potential tiebreaker game is not included in postseason strips.
Fans can make a non-refundable $500 deposit toward new 2015 full season, half-season, business or weekend plans, which will qualify them for the opportunity to purchase a full strip of postseason tickets. A non-refundable $250 deposit for new 16 Game Plans will provide the opportunity to purchase a partial strip of postseason tickets. All deposits will be applied to the cost of new 2015 season tickets.
The deadline for new deposits to qualify for this priority offer is Monday, Sept. 22. More information is available at mariners.com/15, or by calling 206-346-4001.
The Mariners will make an announcement at a later date about the sale of single-game tickets to potential postseason home games.
• After scoring five runs on Tuesday, the Mariners' average runs per game since the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline was at 4.82. In the first four months of the season, Seattle averaged 3.83 runs per game. That extra run comes in handy for a club that is 51-10 when it scores at least four times in a game.
• Kyle Seager hit his 19th home run of the season on Tuesday. He's one shy of becoming the first Mariners player since Raul Ibanez to hit 20-plus homers in at least three straight seasons. Ibanez did it four years in a row from 2005-08.
• McClendon said Hisashi Iwakuma was fine on Wednesday after dealing with a small cramp in his calf when he went to cover first base on the final out in his eight-inning scoreless stint.