Mariners send down .189-hitting Justin Smoak

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The Mariners have finally seen enough; Justin Smoak was demoted after a fourth straight hitless game Monday in the loss to the Yankees. He was 1-for-20 with 12 strikeouts over his previous six games, dropping his average to .189.

In truth, the Mariners likely would have sent Smoak to Triple-A  few weeks ago had they possessed anyone worth replacing him. Mike Carp is finally set to be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday, and while he started the year in left field, he’ll likely play first base for now.

The Mariners may not have completely given up on the 25-year-old Smoak, the key player they received from Texas in the Cliff Lee deal two years ago, but it’s doubtful they’ll be quick to bring him back. While he did have 13 homers in 344 at-bats, they came with a .253 on-base percentage. His slugging percentage was also held down by the fact that he had just six doubles.

It’s likely that Smoak will get his job back in September as the Mariners try to decide whether he should be included in their plans for 2013. After drafting catcher Mike Zunino third overall last month, the Mariners may consider trying Jesus Montero as their first baseman next year.

Diamondbacks place Bumgarner on IL with back strain

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PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks ace Madison Bumgarner has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a mid-back strain.

The left-hander was lifted after two innings Sunday against San Diego due to back spasms.

The Diamondbacks placed Bumgarner on the injured list Monday and selected the contract of right-hander Jeremy Beasley from their alternate training site.

Bumgarner allowed six runs on five hits in two innings against the Padres to remain winless since signing an $85 million, five-year deal with Arizona last offseason. The four-time All-Star has seen his velocity dip into the upper 80s this season and has a 9.35 ERA after Sunday’s start.

Bumgarner was a four-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion in 11 seasons with San Francisco.

Beasley will be making his major league debut.