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June 20, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Mariners resting Morse, using Smoak as they seek some offense

Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 5.40.04 PM

Michael Morse is sitting tonight and Justin Smoak is in the lineup as the first baseman, while birthday boy Kendrys Morales is the DH at age 30.

Mariners manager Eric Wedge said today that Morse and Morales are both improving health-wise. In Morse’s case though, he added, the team has to get him ready to play the outfield so that they don’t have to keep sitting one of the three.

On the injury front, Jason Bay said his hamstring feels “ten times” better today. He’s still got to try to run on it tomorrow and then could play Saturday if all goes well.

Bay was asked whether he could pinch-hit and said he didn’t think so.

“If I could guarantee you I could swing and then take it easy, I would,’’ he said with a chuckle.

The Mariners announced today that they have placed catcher Kelly Shoppach on waivers for the purpose of granting him his unconditional release. Shoppach was designated for assignment last Friday to make room for the Mariners to add Henry Blanco to the roster.

Blanco will start tonight’s game behind the plate, giving Mike Zunino a respite after he’d played five of six games on this trip.

Felix Hernandez gets the start tonight. But the Mariners will need to score some runs since Hernandez doesn’t always pitch well at this ballpark.

He’d 2-5 with a 3.20 ERA in 15 career starts here, so the numbers really aren’t terrible. But if the ERA holds tonight, the Mariners will still need four runs to win. They have one run scored in their last 17 innings.

Comments | More in pregame | Topics: jason bay; michael morse; justin smoak; kelly shoppach


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