NEW YORK -- What happens when your second baseman gets knocked out by a pitch to his wrist the day after your utility infielder suffers the same fate?
For the Mariners, it meant veteran slugger Edwin Encarnacion needed to make his first appearance at second base in his 15-year career -- and reinforcements likely are on the way Friday when the team arrives in Boston.
Second baseman Dee Gordon was removed from Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Yankees in the third inning after getting hit in the right wrist by a J.A. Happ fastball. He’ll undergo a CT scan on Friday in Boston to determine the extent of the damage.
The 90 mph heater caught Gordon just above his hand and sent him reeling behind the plate as he grimaced in pain. Manager Scott Servais and assistant athletic trainer Matt Toth chased Gordon down and talked briefly with the 31-year-old infielder before leading him off the field.
But Gordon indicated postgame that he was more angry than sore at that point.
“I actually was more ticked off,” Gordon said. “It was the second time he threw up by my head. You’ve got to get that ball down. If you can’t throw that pitch, don’t throw it. I’ve got a family. So you need to get the ball down. That was twice.”
Gordon was replaced by rookie infielder Dylan Moore, but he was still hurting after being plunked on his right wrist on Wednesday and wasn’t supposed to even play. Moore couldn’t swing the bat, but he worked a walk in his lone plate appearance in the sixth inning and then was pinch-hit for by Jay Bruce in the eighth.
With no other infield options, Encarnacion trotted out to second base in the bottom of the eighth -- his first appearance at that position in 1,843 Major League games. And, of course, the first ball of the inning was a shot up the middle by DJ LeMahieu that Encarnacion dove for while rolling over the wrist of his left glove hand.
After being checked out by trainers, Encarnacion stayed in the game, but the Mariners will look to avoid any repeat performance as infield options are headed from Triple-A Tacoma to help out. Shortstop J.P. Crawford was removed from the Rainiers’ lineup Thursday in Tacoma and utility infielder Kristopher Negrón would seem to be another option should Moore need to miss time.
“We needed to go to some guys to get through the game, and we ended up with Edwin playing second base,” Servais said. “Not ideal, but we’ll look at the roster quick tonight and see what we’ve got heading to Boston. We’re going to need to get some extra help and see what we do when we get over there.”
Gordon isn’t ruling out a quick return.
“I broke a foot last year and still played, so we’ll see,” he said.
Gordon has gotten off to a strong start this season, batting .304 with 10 stolen bases, 14 runs and 19 RBIs in his first 38 games. The two-time All-Star was 7-for-14 in the first three games of the Yankees series and reached base in both his plate appearances in Thursday’s finale at Yankee Stadium, with a leadoff walk and then the hit-by-pitch.
Moore worked a walk from Happ to lead off the sixth, faking a bunt and pulling the bat back on ball four to get on base even though he couldn’t swing and his wrist was aching.
“Sore is one way to put it. It hurts pretty bad,” the rookie said. “I was just trying to get on any way possible. I was trying to bunt it and see strikes and anything close I was going to take. He threw me four balls before three strikes.”
Moore wound up stealing second and taking third on a throwing error on catcher Gary Sanchez, but he was stranded there on a frustrating night for the offense.
But the Mariners couldn’t risk having Moore hit again with the game on the line in the eighth, leading to the Encarnacion experiment.
“I’m thinking what else can go wrong,” Moore said after seeing the 36-year-old first baseman hurt his own wrist diving for the ball. “I was just hoping he was OK. You don’t want anybody else to get hurt. It’s one of those games where everyone just has to do the best they can.”
Gordon just shook his head after seeing the injured Moore and then Encarnacion playing second base following his departure.
“It’s crazy, but it’s part of it,” Gordon said. “We just have to keep going, keep the guys’ morale up and keep playing hard and things will turn.”