SEATTLE -- Converted outfielder Dustin Ackley returned to the Mariners' infield for Monday night's contest against Toronto. Ackley was selected second overall in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft as a second baseman, but moved to center field during a Triple-A stint midway through this season.
"A little bit of a surprise, but I've been taking ground balls and all that kind of stuff every since I started playing outfield," Ackley said. "They always told me to be ready just in case, and I think I see why now."
The decision to move Ackley to the outfield was due in large part to the success of rookie second baseman Nick Franklin. But with the season's grind starting to wear on the 22-year-old Franklin, acting manager Robby Thompson gave him a day off.
"He's been taking ground balls at second base, at first base, taking balls off the bat in center field and left field," Thompson said. "I don't hesitate for a minute to put him out there. He was our starting second baseman for a year and a half, penciled him in there every day."
• Justin Smoak entered Monday with a hit in five straight games, going 9-of-18 in that span with a homer and two doubles.
• Catchers Henry Blanco and Humberto Quintero homered in three of the last four games. Both are playing while Mike Zunino recovers from an injury to the hamate bone in his wrist.
• Seattle is 6-2-1 in series since July 1. Both series losses were to the Red Sox.
Jacob Thorpe is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.