Mariners send slumping C Montero to minors

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SEATTLE, Wash. (AP) -- The Seattle Mariners have sent slumping catcher Jesus Montero to the minor leagues.

The Mariners optioned Montero to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday. He has 72 hours to join the club.

The 23-year-old Montero is hitting .208 with three home runs and nine RBIs. He hit .260 with 15 homers and 62 RBIs last year in his first full season in the majors.

Seattle will make a corresponding roster move Friday.