Chris Burke back to Padres

The Mariners are back to being a one-Burke operation.

Almost three weeks after acquiring infielder Chris Burke from the Padres for cash, the Mariners have sent him back to the National League club. Details of the trade are expected to be made today.

That leaves veteran catcher Jamie Burke (no relation) as the only Burke in the system.

Chris Burke, who saw limited action in Spring Training after the initial trade, was batting .237 in 38 at-bats for the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers.

Burke, 29, was a first-round draft pick of the Houston Astros in 2001. He’s played in 445 games in the major leagues over the past five years, mostly at second base and in the outfield, and is a career .241 hitter.

The Mariners get their first look at the reigning AL champion Rays tonight as Tampa Bay makes the first of its two visits to Seattle. In fact, six of the eight games between the teams this season will be played at Safeco Field. The Mariners and Rays play a two-game series inside the Tropicana Dome on Sept. 22-23.

Fingers are crossed that the defensive lapses by shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt on back-to-back grounders in Sunday’s loss to the Tigers was not an indication that Yuni’s focus has dwindled — again. He has a tendency to fall into moments when his concentration isn’t what it should be and he makes silly mistakes.

— Jim Street


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