When asked about the hardest hit he ever endured as a forward playing hockey, Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders said, “I don’t remember.”
Since he clearly remembers the blow he suffered crashing into the wall in the fifth inning of Thursday’s loss to the Rangers while trying to track down David Murphy’s three-run homer — it left him with a sore neck and shoulder — it’s safe to say that hit doesn’t rank near the top.
However, he hit the wall hard enough to get a day off.
“It’s stiff, but it will be all right,” said Saunders, who left the game in the eighth inning.
Looking back at the play, Saunders said he was playing Murphy, a left-handed hitter, shallow, expecting him to slice the ball to the opposite field with Felix Hernandez on the mound.
When Murphy made contact, Saunders, sprinted to area he expected the ball to travel toward.
“I just kind of lost where I was on the warning track and, when I jumped to try and get the ball, I kind of ran into the fence as I was trying to get up and it just caught me off guard,” Saunders said.
When asked if he thought he could have made the catch, Saunders said, “I thought I had a good shot at getting it.”
Saunders is day-to-day. Ryan Langerhans was given the start in left field, hitting eighth.
— Shawn Kelley was scheduled to have an MRI on Friday and meet with Dr. Lewis Yocum and Edward Khalfayan, the Mariners’ team physician. Kelley has been out since June 16 with elbow problems.
— Erik Bedard had shoulder surgery Friday. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu was still waiting for more details, but from what he heard it was successful.
“Guys have come back,” Wakamatsu said. “The one that’s similar is somebody like Gil Meche, who has come back and been productive. We’re hoping he’s able to come back and pitch again and wish him the best of luck.”
It was the third surgery on the lefty’s shoulder and was performed by Yocum and Khalfayan.
Gregor Blanco CF
Jason Kendall C
Billy Butler DH
Kila Ka’aihue 1B
Wilson Betemit 3B
Alex Gordon LF
Mike Aviles SS
Chris Getz 2B
Willie Bloomquist RF
Zack Greinke RHP
Chone Figgins 2B
Casey Kotchman 1B
Russell Branyan DH
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Jose Lopez 3B
Adam Moore C
Ryan Langerhans LF
Jack Wilson SS
Luke French LHP