After a day off (except to pinch-hit) with a sore knee from a foul ball, Nick Franklin returns to the Mariners lineup. Eric Wedge said he “walked in better” and still felt better after treatment and doing some running. Kendrys Morales, who is 1-for-15 since his two-homer, six-RBI game in Texas on the first game of the road trip, is on the bench, with Justin Smoak getting the start at first.
Wedge hopes Raul Ibanez is rejuvenated after getting a full day off yesterday — the first time he’s missed a game since May 29, starting them all since then.
“Which is why we needed to give him a day yesterday,” Wedge said. “Unless the game was on the line, he wasn’t going to play. It will go a long way for him. Just like Morales — a day for him today will go a long way, too.”
As for Michael Morse, on the DL with a quad injury, Wedge said he’s a bit sore from running. The plan is to give him a couple days off, then send him mid-week to Tacoma on a rehab assignment.
Wedge said he was disappointed that neither Oliver Perez or Ibanez were included on the final vote for the All-Star team.
“Of course, I’m a little biased, but I’d have liked to have seen them both on there,” he said. “I think they’re both great stories, and not only that, they’re both producers on the field. Oliver’s in his second career, and I think he has been as good as any left-hander in the league in that role. With what Raul’s done to be in such great shape and work so hard to be who he is, and have that translate on the field this year at his age, it’s a tremendous accomplishment.”