Line drive leaves Ackley with sprained finger (pending X-rays)

Dustin Ackley’s second game of the Arizona Fall League today was going well — he reached safely on a sacrifice bunt, doubled and scored two runs in two at-bats — until he tried to catch a line drive in the bottom of the second inning.

Now, the Mariners’ second-base prospect is out for at least the next few days with the Peoria Javelinas because of a bad finger.

The ball, hit by Surprise’s Johnny Giavotella, deflected off Ackley’s glove and into right field for a single. It left Ackley with what the Mariners are calling a sprained finger.

Pedro Grifol, the Mariners’ minor league director, wasn’t sure which finger it was that Ackley injured but, as of now, the club doesn’t believe it’s serious.

“He went up for a line drive and it sailed on him and hit the tip of his finger on his glove hand,” Grifol said. “It’s a sprain. It’s two or three days, but they’re going to take an X-ray. Our trainer said it didn’t look too bad.”

Today’s game, a 7-4 victory by the Peoria Javelinas at Surprise, produced some strong pitching by a couple of Mariners prospects.

Right-hander Josh Fields pitched one scoreless inning of relief with two strikeouts and a walk, and righty Tom Wilhelmsen struck out four and allowed two hits, one walk and a run in two innings.

It was an especially big moment for Fields, the Mariners’ first-round draft pick in 2009 who hadn’t pitched since June 11 with Class AA West Tennessee because of a sore forearm.

“He mixed in some good changeups and ball’s coming out of his hand nice,” Grifol said. “The action (on his pitches) was pretty good and he felt great.”

Third baseman Nate Tenbrink, who entered the game in the third after Ackley was pulled, went 0-for-3 but recorded his first Fall League RBI with a run-scoring grounder in the seventh inning. Shortstop Matt Lawson, a late addition to the Peoria roster because of the quad injury that will sideline Matt Mangini the early part of the Fall League schedule, went 0-for-4 in his first start.

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