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Cruz slips on dugout step, sprains right ankle

Mariners slugger hits second homer in as many games in sixth inning
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- The injury bug bit the Mariners again on Saturday and this time it was a fluke accident, with designated hitter Nelson Cruz slipping on the dugout stairs and spraining his right ankle after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning of a 6-5 loss to the Indians.

Cruz, who has two home runs in the Mariners' first two games, had to be taken out of the game and missed a chance to bat with the tying run on second base after Robinson Cano's leadoff double in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Guillermo Heredia hit in place of Cruz and flied out to left.

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SEATTLE -- The injury bug bit the Mariners again on Saturday and this time it was a fluke accident, with designated hitter Nelson Cruz slipping on the dugout stairs and spraining his right ankle after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning of a 6-5 loss to the Indians.

Cruz, who has two home runs in the Mariners' first two games, had to be taken out of the game and missed a chance to bat with the tying run on second base after Robinson Cano's leadoff double in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Guillermo Heredia hit in place of Cruz and flied out to left.

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X-rays showed no fracture in the ankle, but Cruz will have an MRI on Sunday to determine the extent of the sprain.

"It was just a freak accident," manager Scott Servais said. "It's kind of unbelievable at times, some of the things we've gone through here. But we'll try to stay positive and hopefully everything is OK."

Video: CLE@SEA: Heredia pinch-hits for an injured Cruz

The Mariners opened the season with left fielder Ben Gamel (strained oblique) and starter Erasmo Ramirez (strained lat) on the disabled list and lost reliever David Phelps for the season to Tommy John surgery. Catcher Mike Zunino went on the 10-day disabled list Friday with an oblique strain that occurred in batting practice the day prior to the season opener.

Now Cruz, the club's cleanup hitter and veteran leader, could be sidelined, as well, on an injury that occurred after he'd celebrated his home run in the dugout with teammates and was heading back to the hitting cages.

"When I heard that, I wanted to throw up," Servais said. "I don't know any other way to put it. Our club has just battled through a bunch of nagging injuries in Spring Training and early in the season here."

Video: CLE@SEA: Servais discusses Cruz's injury, first loss

Cruz had been dealing with a sore quad muscle in his right leg but played through it. Cano, Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger, Ryon Healy and Ichiro Suzuki all missed time during the spring with nagging injuries, as well.

Cruz said he couldn't put any weight on his ankle immediately after slipping, but he was feeling a little better after the game with the foot in a walking boot.

"There's nothing I can do at this point. Just hope for the best and hopefully it's nothing bad," Cruz said. "I just slipped. It's a shame. But I'll be good."

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

Seattle Mariners, Nelson Cruz