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Romero leaves game with oblique injury

PEORIA, Ariz. -- One day after having the game of his young professional career with two home runs and seven RBIs, Mariners infield prospect Stefen Romero strained his left oblique muscle while striking out in the second inning Friday and had to be removed from the game against the A's.

Romero got the start at third base Friday after his 4-for-5 day with a grand slam and three-run home run 24 hours earlier against the Royals. But after swinging through an off-speed pitch by Oakland's A.J. Griffin, he was replaced by Vinnie Catricala and was undergoing tests Friday evening, according to manager Eric Wedge.

"It looked like it grabbed him pretty good," Wedge said. "He'll get checked out today and we'll go from there. We'll see just what we're looking at."

Oblique strains in the stomach area can be a tough injury for baseball players, given the torque needed to swing a bat. Romero, 24, was off to an excellent start in his first Major League camp, hitting .500 (7-for-14) with two home runs and eight RBIs in seven games.

The young infielder out of Oregon State hit .352 with 23 home runs in splitting last season between Class-A High Desert and Double-A Jackson.

Friday's game eventually was canceled in the fourth inning when heavy rain started falling.

The Mariners did get good news on left-hander Danny Hultzen, who threw a light bullpen session earlier in the day in his first action since being scratched from Monday's start with a sore hip. Wedge said Hultzen threw without any issues and will be given one more bullpen session before determining when he'll return to game action.

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