SEATTLE -- Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz was scratched from Saturday's lineup against the Astros due to a sore left foot, with Franklin Gutierrez taking his place in right field.Shortstop Ketel Marte was also out of the lineup with a slight right ankle sprain that occurred in the third inning of
SEATTLE -- Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz was scratched from Saturday's lineup against the Astros due to a sore left foot, with Franklin Gutierrez taking his place in right field.
Shortstop Ketel Marte was also out of the lineup with a slight right ankle sprain that occurred in the third inning of Friday's 7-3 loss to the Astros, with Shawn O'Malley replacing him.
Cruz fouled a ball off his foot in his first at-bat in Friday's loss. He remained in the game and went 0-for-4, but the foot was still hurting on Saturday, and manager Scott Servais chose to give him the day off to recover.
"It's pretty sore today," Servais said prior to Saturday's game. "He did it about eight days ago in Houston, a similar thing, and he hit it right on the same spot again. I would say he and Marte are day to day. I'm hoping to get both of them back in there tomorrow, but we'll see."
Cruz leads the club with 23 home runs and has put up a .277/.362/.536 line with 58 RBIs in 88 games, so his presence will be missed. Marte has also been a critical part of the team as a key defender up the middle and is hitting .273 with 36 runs and eight stolen bases in 73 games.
Servais knows this is a critical homestand against the Astros and White Sox as his team fights to stay in contention, so he'll push to get Marte back in the lineup as quickly as possible, even if his range is compromised a bit at shortstop.
"There comes a time," he said. "We all know we're at the important part of our season right now, there's no doubt. Obviously, you want to have all your guys healthy. Timing is everything. It's not great timing for a couple of your key guys to go down, but if he's close to 100 percent, I'd like to see him out there."
Servais noted that Marte has now been hurt twice this season while sliding into a base. He spent 15 days on the disabled list with a left thumb injury earlier and now hurt his ankle with an awkward feet-first slide into third attempting a triple.
"We've put a plan together," he said. "We've got to tighten up Ketel's sliding. It's an issue. His technique is poor. Obviously, that's where the injuries have come from. If you're going to play every day in this league, you have to be able to do the fundamental things the game requires, and sliding is one of them."
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [
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