8/26/2014 10:28 P.M. ET
Denorfia sidelined by neck stiffness
By Greg Johns and Adam Lewis / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Right fielder Chris Denorfia was scratched from the Mariners' lineup about two hours before Tuesday night's game with the Rangers due to a stiff neck.
Veteran Endy Chavez got the start in Denorfia's place, though he was penciled in eighth in the batting order after Denorfia had been originally slated to hit sixth.
Denorfia, acquired on July 31 from the Padres, has hit .244 in 16 games with Seattle, including a .312 mark over the last 10 games after getting off to a 1-for-13 start with his new club.
Chavez is hitting .272 in 63 games for the Mariners in his 13th season in the Majors.
Mariners again calling on Ramirez for spot start
SEATTLE -- Looking to give the starting rotation extra rest for the final month of the season and a possible trip to the playoffs, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon announced Tuesday that right-hander Erasmo Ramirez will make a spot start Wednesday against the Rangers.
"Last month I managed for September," McClendon said. "This month I'm trying to manage for October, and I'm trying to keep the big picture in mind."
The Mariners, who entered Tuesday with a half-game lead over the Tigers for the second American League Wild Card, plan to recall Ramirez from Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday morning. That will require a corresponding roster move to clear space on the 25-man roster.
Ramirez, 24, is familiar with Tacoma and Seattle, and he has the miles to show for it. In 2014, he is 1-5 with a 4.06 ERA in 13 starts for the Mariners and 5-5 with a 3.63 ERA in 14 starts for the Rainiers. This will be his sixth stint with Seattle.
Ramirez began the year in the Mariners' rotation but, after a slow start, was optioned to the Minor Leagues in late April. Since, he's bounced between the Majors and Minors as an extra starter that McClendon can call on when sensing his rotation needs a break.
"He's probably our most experienced guy down there," McClendon said. "He's throwing the best down there. I think this is an opportunity he certainly earned."
Ramirez hasn't earned a victory in the Major Leagues since his April 1 season debut, when he allowed two runs over seven innings in Seattle's 8-3 victory over the Angels.
But that isn't indicative of how he's pitched of late. In his last six big league starts, the Nicaragua native is 0-1 with a 1.15 ERA over 31 1/3 innings.
"I think he's done a nice job. We've called him up a couple times and he's pitched well for us," McClendon said. "He's given us opportunities to win ballgames."
Right-hander Felix Hernandez was originally scheduled to pitch Wednesday. Instead, he'll throw Friday when the Mariners welcome the Washington Nationals to Safeco Field for the opener of a three-game series.
The announcement to add Ramirez to the rotation -- at least temporarily -- came after McClendon saw his starters labor during the club's recent nine-game East Coast road trip. The Mariners have an off-day Thursday, so every starter will pitch on a seventh day instead of the typical five the next time through the cycle.
Making that decision didn't come easy.
"I slept on it for a couple of days," McClendon said. "I know that there is absolutely no doubt that I'm doing the right thing for the future of these pitchers and the future of this organization."
Peterson leads Seattle's class for Fall League
SEATTLE -- Third baseman D.J. Peterson, the Mariners' first-round Draft pick in 2013, is one of six Seattle prospects who'll play in the Arizona Fall League starting in October, as rosters were released Tuesday.
Each of the six AFL teams is made up from players from five different Major League club. The Mariners will be affiliated with the Surprise Saguaros this fall, along with players from the Red Sox, Reds, Padres and Rangers.
Also named from the Mariners were infielder Patrick Kivlehan, catcher John Hicks and right-handed pitchers Matt Anderson, Matt Brazis and Stephen Landazuri. It will be Kivlehan's second AFL season, as he played for the Peoria Javelinas last year.
Peterson was expected to play in the AFL last season until he was hit in the face with a pitch in August and sidelined for the remainder of the year.
"I'm looking forward to being challenged and facing good competition," Peterson told MLB.com. "It gives me a chance to see what I might be able to see one day in the big leagues."
It's also a bit of a homecoming for Peterson, who has split his first full season between the Class A Advanced California League and the Double-A Southern League. The Arizona native will get the chance to play in very familiar surroundings, while sharing an apartment with his younger brother Dustin (No. 12 on the Padres' Top 20) and his cousin Nate Causey, an Arizona State product selected by the Rockies in the 19th round of this June's Draft. Both will be in Arizona for instructional league play for their respective organizations.
"I've lived in Arizona my whole life," Peterson said. "It's where I played baseball almost my whole life. I'm looking forward to being home."
Peterson has hit .254 with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs in 52 games since being promoted to Double-A Jackson after batting .326 with 18 homers and 73 RBIs in 65 games for High Desert.
Kivlehan also was bumped up to Jackson midseason and is batting .301 with 11 homers and 65 RBIs in 98 games. Hicks started the year in Jackson (.296, 3 HRs, 27 RBIs in 53 games) and is now at Triple-A Tacoma where he's hit .284 with two homers and 19 RBIs in 24 games.
Landazuri and Brazis are currently pitching for Jackson. Landazuri has spent the full season in Double-A and is 6-5 with a 3.94 ERA in 18 starts, while Brazis is 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA in 14 relief appearance for Jackson after going 3-0, 2.97 ERA in 23 outings for High Desert.
Anderson started the year in Jackson and was 3-5 with a 5.16 ERA in 13 starts and now has gone 3-2 with a 4.91 ERA in 12 games (seven starts for High Desert).
• Logan Morrison had hit .352 in August going into Tuesday's game, the third-highest average in the American League in that stretch behind Detroit's Victor Martinez (.363) and Boston's David Ortiz (.361). Morrison's best month in his career so far was a .327 April with the Marlins in 2011.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. Adam Lewis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.