BY SPNW Staff 01:16PM 08/27/2016

Mariners call up Lee, 2 relievers; Aoki demoted

The Mariners Saturday made a spate of roster moves, recalling 1B/DH Dae-Ho Lee and switch-throwing reliever Pat Venditte from AAA Tacoma while also selecting RHP Dan Altavilla from AA Jackson. In corresponding transactions, Seattle placed reliever Tom Wilhelmsen on the 15-day disabled list and optioned OF Nori Aoki and ultility man Mike Freeman back to the Rainiers.

Lee, Venditte and Altavilla were available Saturday night when the Mariners played the third of four against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field (4:10 p.m. PT).

Lee, 34, hit .519 with two homers and six RBIs in seven games with Tacoma after being optioned Aug. 19. With Seattle, he hit .246 with 26 runs, six doubles, 13 home runs and 41 RBIs in 84 games. Prior to the All-Star break, Lee hit .288 with 12 home runs and 37 RBIs in 64 games. Lee is 6-for-55 in his past 20 MLB games.

Venditte, 31, was acquired from Toronto Aug. 6 and reported to Tacoma. He went 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA. He posted a 5.19 ERA in eight relief appearances with Toronto earlier this season. Venditte is the first known full-time ambidextrous pitcher in MLB  history.

The 23-year-old Altavilla, a 5-foot-11, 200-pounder, will be making his MLB debut. He went 7-3 with 16 saves in 43 relief appearances with Jackson this season.

Altavilla is a native of McKeesport, PA., who attended Mercyhurst College (PA) from 2011-14. Altavilla was selected by Seattle in the fifth round of the 2014 draft after earning the inaugural Brett Tomko Award, given to the Most Outstanding Pitcher in NCAA Division II baseball.

Wilhelmsen, 32, was 0-1 with one save and a 3.20 ERA in 22 relief appearances with Seattle this season. He is going on the disabled list with back spasms.

Aoki, 34, hit .316 with five RBIs and a .362 on-base percentage in 31 games since being recalled July 20. He is being sent out because the Mariners will face several lefties over the next week and would have been of little.

Freeman, 29, was recalled from Tacoma Thursday but did not appear in a game. Freeman was batting .290 in 17 games with the Rainiers. In one prior stint with Seattle this season, Freeman was two for six in two games. He made his Mariners debut Aug. 7 vs. the Angels.

LHP Ariel Miranda (1-0, 5.49) will throw for Seattle Saturday night opposite LHP Jose Quintana (10-9, 2.94).

The Mariners are 6.5 games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West and two back of the Baltimore Orioles for the second wild card slot.


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