PEORIA, Ariz. -- While second baseman Dustin Ackley went 3-for-3 with a double, triple and two runs scored in his first shot in a leadoff role this spring, Mariners manager Eric Wedge said he prefers to keep the youngster second in the lineup if possible.
Chone Figgins remains the leading candidate to handle the top spot in Seattle's order, but he didn't play on Monday and that led to Ackley's ascension.
Wedge said early in camp that Ichiro Suzuki would bat third this season and Figgins would get first crack at the leadoff role.
"We'll have [Ackley] hit there when Figgins isn't in," Wedge said. "He is one of the guys I thought about. I like it better with Figgins one and Ackley two, just because Ackley can drive the ball in the gap as well as anybody and we can score a quick run there.
"Obviously he's an option as a leadoff guy for us, too, but I'm hopeful we can settle him in that two-hole."
Iwakuma throws 35 pitches in Mariners debut
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Right-hander Hishashi Iwakuma was expected to throw three innings on Monday for the Mariners. Instead, he was pulled after throwing 35 pitches in the first, while giving up an unearned run and three hits with one strikeout and a wild pitch in what turned into a 13-7 victory over the Padres.
Iwakuma had been roughed up in the second inning of his intrasquad outing last week, so both he and the Mariners were curious to see how he'd fare in his initial Cactus League outing.
"I felt better than last time, but I threw too many pitches," Iwakuma said through interpreter Daisuke Sekiba. "My location wasn't as good as I expect, but better than last time."
Iwakuma, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Mariners as a free agent out of Japan, is being looked at as a candidate to start for Seattle. But he'll need to pitch better if he's going to challenge for one of the three spots that Hector Noesi, Blake Beavan and Kevin Millwood are also vying for in camp, behind Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas.
Manager Eric Wedge noted that the Mariners didn't help Iwakuma out much, with Dustin Ackley committing an error to allow Padres' leadoff hitter Blake Tekotte to reach base and shortstop Brendan Ryan then dropping the ball after Miguel Olivo appeared to throw out Tekotte stealing second.
"We should have had a couple more outs," Wedge said. "We could have made it a heckuva lot easier for him. I thought the ball came out of his hand well. We were hoping to send him back out there, but he just threw too many pitches. We weren't going to take a chance on that early in camp like this.
"He'll be fine. He had some decent action on his pitches. He kind of came up a little after things started happening, but he was able to get through it."
The Mariners had reliever Scott Patterson warming up in the first and brought him in to replace Iwakuma in the second. Wedge acknowledged it's hard to judge exactly where Iwakuma might fit in at this juncture.
"I don't think we know just yet," Wedge said. "We've seen signs. He threw some good splitties today and had some good down fastballs. He had a little more action on the ball, similar to what we saw in that first inning in the intrasquad game. I think he's a veteran guy and he's working in the right direction. We'll have to just keep sending him out there."
Iwakuma, one of the top starters in Japan over the past decade, looks forward to that as well.
"I wanted to pitch more, because I'd only pitched one inning," he said. "I wanted to pitch two or three, but they said they were thinking about me and worrying about too much pitches. But I felt pretty good, even at 35 pitches. Next time I'll try to pitch more innings to get experience with what it looks like."
Sherrill throws scoreless inning
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Left-handed relief specialist George Sherrill made his first game appearance of the spring and didn't allow a hit while walking one in his inning of work in the Mariners' 13-7 Cactus League victory over the Padres on Monday.
Sherrill, 34, was shut down the first 10 days of camp due to a tender elbow and didn't pitch in any of the team's four intrasquad games, but he said he felt good in his scoreless third inning.
"It feels pretty good," said Sherrill, who pitched for the Braves last year. "It has a ways to go. I don't know if it'll be pain free at all, but for 70-75 appearances or whatever, it should be fine. It was a little more stiff in there, rather than the soreness that I had, so that was good to see. Now it's just a matter of working those little kinks out and hopefully it'll be pain free. I don't know if that will happen, but I should be fine."
Sherrill said his goal is to pitch in back-to-back situations before the season starts March 28-29 in Tokyo, but for now is just building up strength and will likely throw a bullpen session Wednesday before returning to Cactus League action later in the week.
"He threw the ball well," said manager Eric Wedge. "He's been pretty consistent with his work from when we started him late, with the bullpens and live hitters and now to today. I like the way he's throwing the ball right now."
• Rookie catcher Jesus Montero was sent home early Monday after feeling ill in the morning. He wasn't scheduled to play in the afternoon game, after going 1-for-3 with a double on Sunday.
• Monday's game was not broadcast on radio in the Seattle area as 710 ESPN Seattle won't carry any of the Monday games this spring. The station will broadcast all Friday, Saturday and Sunday games live, while carrying Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday contests on a delayed basis at 7 p.m. PT.
Catcher Adam Moore had an adventurous game Monday. The 27-year-old got hit by a bat on a backswing, but stayed in the game. He then smacked a solo home run in the eighth inning, walked in the ninth and advanced to third on a Carlos Peguero single, only to discover Francisco Martinez was already perched there after being held up by third-base coach Jeff Datz.
But Moore escaped the ensuing rundown by sliding safely into second base to beat the throw and then scored on a single by Luis Rodriguez.