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Felix improved a day after tweaking back

NEW YORK -- Mariners ace Felix Hernandez showed up at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday afternoon feeling fine after being taken out of Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Yankees following the sixth inning due to a tight back.

Hernandez tweaked his back while fielding a ground ball and turning and firing to second base in the sixth. He stayed in for the rest of that inning but didn't return for the seventh with a 3-1 lead and having thrown 97 pitches.

Manager Eric Wedge said he definitely would have kept Hernandez in for another inning if the back issue hadn't cropped up. But Wedge indicated on Wednesday that things were looking fine a day later.

"He's good," Wedge said. "He said it was pretty sore this morning, but he feels good, and [trainer Rick Griffin] felt he got him in a good place after the game last night. He's feeling good today, so we should be fine."

Will there be any changes to Hernandez's preparation this week before his next scheduled start, on Sunday in Cleveland?

"I don't think so," Wedge said. "I think we're OK."

Hernandez is 5-2 with an American League-leading 1.53 ERA after nine starts.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.
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