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Kendrys back in lineup as Mariners' designated hitter

SEATTLE -- The Mariners won't have to face the Yankees without Kendrys Morales, who left Saturday's game against New York with back stiffness in the sixth inning. Morales was Seattle's designated hitter on Sunday to prevent the wear and tear he was getting playing first base.

"I walked into him earlier, he's feeling better," manager Eric Wedge said. "He was feeling better by the time we left here last night. They did some good work on him yesterday, so we'll DH him today."

Wedge acknowledged that playing Morales every day at first base probably contributed to his injury.

"We've had to push a lot of these guys, just because we're banged up and playing 20 days in a row, and everything else," Wedge said.

Morales led the Mariners with 18 multihit games, and was tied for third on the team in home runs with eight entering Sunday. He was a career .309 hitter against the Yankees, including .348 this year.

Seattle won't simply be able to flip Morales with Michael Morse at first base. Morse, who missed seven games recently with a right quad strain, has the day off because of what Wedge called the "slippery slope" of pushing recently injured players too much when they return. This meant that Alex Liddi -- who was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma in late May -- got the start at first base. It was his second start of the season.

Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for
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