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Ichiro, Cano, Romine return from injuries

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

PEORIA, Ariz. -- On a night they lost David Phelps for the season due to Tommy John surgery, the Mariners made some welcome improvements on the health front, regaining second baseman Robinson Cano, left fielder Ichiro Suzuki and utility man Andrew Romine from injury absences in Wednesday's 7-4 win over the Brewers at Peoria Stadium.

Cano, who was sidelined nine days with a strained left hamstring, returned at designated hitter and went 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored. He's expected to play second base Thursday night against the Rangers, which will allow Nelson Cruz -- out eight days with a right quad strain -- to return at DH for that game.

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- On a night they lost David Phelps for the season due to Tommy John surgery, the Mariners made some welcome improvements on the health front, regaining second baseman Robinson Cano, left fielder Ichiro Suzuki and utility man Andrew Romine from injury absences in Wednesday's 7-4 win over the Brewers at Peoria Stadium.

Cano, who was sidelined nine days with a strained left hamstring, returned at designated hitter and went 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored. He's expected to play second base Thursday night against the Rangers, which will allow Nelson Cruz -- out eight days with a right quad strain -- to return at DH for that game.

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Ichiro, who didn't sign until March 7 and then missed the past week with a sore right calf, played just his fourth game of the spring and went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts.

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"We just have to get Ichiro consistent at-bats," manager Scott Servais said. "He's had an abbreviated Spring Training, and with the leg issue, it's going to take him a while to get his timing down, so hopefully we get him back out there tomorrow."

Romine, who is competing for a utility job, also returned after a week-long absence due to a shoulder injury and struck out in both of his two at-bats. First baseman Ryon Healy, who has missed most of spring while recovering from hand surgery, played his third game since returning and went 1-for-2 with a single and a sacrifice fly.

Video: MIL@SEA: Healy plates Gordon with a sacrifice fly

With just five more Cactus League games remaining before the March 29 opener against the Indians, Servais said he'll try to get his starting lineup into a regular routine as much as possible.

"I'd like to," Servais said. "We need to be smart with [Cano] and make sure he's ready when the bell rings, so I don't want to overdo it there. But Healy will continue to ramp it up. We'll see how Ichiro comes out of tonight. We'd like to start playing these guys back-to-back or three days in a row."

Injury updates
• Even as many players returned, the Mariners have temporarily lost another infielder, as shortstop Jean Segura hasn't played since spraining his right thumb on Saturday. He stuck his hand down to break his fall while hauling in an off-balance catch. Segura took ground balls and threw in Wednesday's workout, but he could be held out of games until this weekend.

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• Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez is scheduled to throw off the mound for the first time Saturday as he begins ramping up from a month-long absence with a strained right oblique.

"He's coming along very well, so once he gets in a bullpen, we can start mapping out his progression back," Servais said.

• Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma will throw his first bullpen of the spring on Sunday, as he's continued surprising the Mariners with his recovery from October shoulder surgery.

"I'm very excited about where he's at," Servais said. "I keep saying it. We will need him. I would love to see him get back and have another impactful run for us. I hope it's not just my heart over my head, because I really respect and love what he does on the mound for us. I'm going to stay positive with this one. I really believe he's going to help us."

• Left fielder Ben Gamel also appears ahead of schedule, as he's beginning to swing the bat after resting his strained right oblique for 2 1/2 weeks. Though it's too early for any timetable on when he might face live pitching, Gamel took 20 swings off a tee on Tuesday and 20 more off a tee and 20 soft-toss swings Wednesday.

"I'm trying to do anything I can to speed up this process," Gamel said. "You have to listen to your body, but I'm moving along. It's a good sign that I'm swinging as early as it is. I've thrown a couple times and everything feels good."

Video: LAD@SEA: Gamel lines a triple to right-center in 3rd

Position competition
With Mike Marjama winning the backup catcher job, one position still up in the air is the utility role, as Romine, Taylor Motter and Gordon Beckham all remain in camp.

Romine's absence with a shoulder injury the past week has made things interesting.

"He feels good now," Servais said. "But it's given Motter and Beckham a chance to play a lot, and they've both played very well. Motter had a nice little hot streak there for four, five games, and Gordon has been probably our most consistent offensive guy throughout the entire spring, from Day One.

"All those guys have had good camps. They can't all make the team, but we'll make the call here probably this weekend or early next week."

Video: SEA@CLE: Beckham hits a single to center

Up next
Marco Gonzales makes what will likely be his last Cactus League start in Thursday's 6:40 p.m. PT game against the Rangers at Peoria Stadium, live on MLB.TV. The 26-year-old has a 1.10 ERA in five outings and is targeted as Seattle's No. 4 starter to open the year. Juan Nicasio and Edwin Diaz are among the scheduled relievers. 44-year-old right-hander Bartolo Colon is scheduled to start for the Rangers.

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

Seattle Mariners, Robinson Cano, Andrew Romine, Ichiro Suzuki