• Kyodo


Outfielder Norichika Aoki was sent down to Triple-A Tacoma by the Seattle Mariners, the team announced Saturday.

This is the second demotion this season for the 34-year-old Aoki, who will trade places on the Mariners’ active roster with former Orix Buffaloes and Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks slugger Lee Dae-ho. Prior to this season, Aoki had not played in the minors except for rehab assignments last season after he was hit by pitches.

Aoki was sent down in June for a month, but has hit .316 since his recall. Mariners manager Scott Servais said that while Aoki has performed well, he was not expected to play much in coming days.

“Just looking at what’s coming . . . the number of left-handed starters we’re going to face, the number of starts he was going to get was going to be limited,” Servais said.

On the other hand, the right-handed-hitting Lee spent the first part of the season platooning at first base against left-hand pitchers.

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