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Felix placed on DL with back stiffness

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

ANAHEIM -- With the All-Star break approaching next week, the Mariners placed Felix Hernandez on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday to give the veteran right-hander time to heal a stiff lower back that has hindered him in his past two starts.

Hernandez will miss his scheduled start Thursday against the Angels, but he's expected to return after next week's four-day break. James Paxton could be moved up a day to pitch Thursday, since he'd be on normal rest after a Monday off-day, but manager Scott Servais said no decision has been finalized yet.

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ANAHEIM -- With the All-Star break approaching next week, the Mariners placed Felix Hernandez on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday to give the veteran right-hander time to heal a stiff lower back that has hindered him in his past two starts.

Hernandez will miss his scheduled start Thursday against the Angels, but he's expected to return after next week's four-day break. James Paxton could be moved up a day to pitch Thursday, since he'd be on normal rest after a Monday off-day, but manager Scott Servais said no decision has been finalized yet.

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"We've talked about some different options," Servais said. "We certainly need somebody to come in and make a start, whether that's Thursday or Friday [in Colorado], we're not quite sure yet."

After missing more than half of last season with shoulder issues, Hernandez has made all 19 of his previously scheduled starts this year, but the back issue flared up after he aggravated it lifting weights in Baltimore two weeks ago.

"We certainly appreciate his effort trying to pitch through it," Servais said. "This was a chance for us to pull back. We've got the All-Star break and we'll keep him off the trip and let that calm down and he'll work out, and we'll get him right back in rotation coming out of the break.

"We're playing for the long haul here. When we came into the season, we felt if we got 28, maybe 30 starts out of Felix it would be a great year. He's ahead of pace for that. This is about allowing his back to calm down and also rejuvenating him here as we go into the second half."

Hernandez is 8-7 with a career-high 5.13 ERA in 19 starts this season. He's allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his past five starts, but he has been limited to five innings in three of his past four outings, including Friday against the Rockies when he gave up eight hits and three runs in five frames.

The Mariners recalled reliever Nick Rumbelow and infielder Gordon Beckham from Triple-A Tacoma and optioned outfielder John Andreoli to Tacoma prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Angels.

Rumbelow provides another bullpen arm after he was optioned to Tacoma on Saturday. The 26-year-old right-hander has put up a 4.91 ERA with seven strikeouts and one walk in 7 1/3 innings over six relief outings from June 14 to July 6. He began the season with Tacoma after missing most of Spring Training and the first two months of the season with a nerve issue in his neck.

Beckham returns to the Mariners as well to offer some infield depth. The 31-year-old hit .206 (7-for-34) in 12 games with Seattle in May, and he was batting .318 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs in 57 games with Tacoma.

"The funny thing is I left this team, but I still feel I'm a part of it," Beckham said. "I don't feel like I'm very far removed even though it's been a month. They're a great group, and I love being back."

Andreoli was called up Saturday when the Mariners were uncertain about Mitch Haniger's bruised knee and played in one game, going 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts against the Rockies. He was hitting .283 with a .380 on-base percentage in 60 games for Tacoma.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Felix Hernandez