Mariners send C Zunino to Triple-A, call up C Hicks

CHICAGO (AP) The Seattle Mariners optioned struggling catcher Mike Zunino to Triple-A Tacoma on Friday and called up catcher John Hicks from their top affiliate.

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said the team hopes to bring back Zunino to the big league level at some point. He was hitting .174 with 11 home runs and 28 RBIs.

''This is a chance to go down for 10-12 days and take a breather and maybe regroup a little bit and get it going,'' McClendon said.

Hicks, who made the trip to Chicago on Friday prior to the Mariners' game against the White Sox, was hitting .245 with six home runs and 35 RBIs in 83 games for Tacoma. The 25-year-old hasn't played in the majors.

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