So much for that: Mariners demote Nick Franklin back to Triple-A

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It looked like the Mariners might give Nick Franklin an extended opportunity to earn playing time in their outfield following Logan Morrison’s hamstring injury, but one day after Franklin started in the outfield for the first time in his professional career he’s headed back to Triple-A.

Franklin went 2-for-13 in a six-game call-up to Seattle after hitting .395 in 11 games at Triple-A, and instead of letting him take a crack at a regular outfield gig the Mariners will have him continue to showcase himself for a potential trade as a middle infielder in the minors.

There was one play Wednesday in which Franklin clearly looked like a newbie in the outfield and perhaps that was a factor in the quick demotion, because Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that the Mariners will replace him on the roster with journeyman outfielder Cole Gillespie.

Franklin played 102 games for the Mariners last season as a 22-year-old rookie and before that consistently ranked as a top-100 prospect, but lost his starting job at second base when Seattle signed Robinson Cano.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.