Cruz, Gutierrez out of lineup vs. A's with injuries
OAKLAND -- Nelson Cruz has been sidelined for a second straight game with a strained right quadriceps muscle, and teammate Franklin Gutierrez is also out of the lineup with a strained right groin muscle as the Mariners defeated the A's, 8-3, on Saturday.
The two right-handed hitting outfielders are both having outstanding seasons, with Cruz at 39 home runs and batting .310 with 82 RBIs, before injuring his leg while running the bases in Wednesday's 8-3 victory at Houston.
Gutierrez has seen more limited action as he's been platooned in left field for the past 10 weeks, since being called up from Triple-A Tacoma, but he's made the most of his time by hitting .313 with 11 homers, 30 RBIs and a .641 slugging percentage -- the highest of any player in MLB with more than 100 at-bats.
Gutierrez exited Friday's 11-8 win over the A's in the second inning after feeling his groin muscle tighten up.
"He's feeling a little better," manager Lloyd McClendon said prior to Saturday's game. "He's still day to day. It wasn't as bad as we thought it was. We'll see how he feels tomorrow."
McClendon said Cruz is in a similar situation, and he listed his availability for Sunday's series finale at "probably 50-50."
• The Mariners have announced three-fourths of their rotation for the four-game Rangers series at Safeco Field that starts on Monday, with Roenis Elias throwing Monday's 3:40 p.m. PT Labor Day game, Taijuan Walker tossing on Tuesday night and Felix Hernandez going in Thursday's 12:40 p.m. wrapup.
But Wednesday's starter is still to be determined. McClendon declined to speculate, but the obvious choices are Edgar Olmos (who lasted just 1 1/3 innings on Friday), Vidal Nuno (currently pitching in the bullpen), Mike Montgomery (who could be recalled from Tacoma when its season ends Monday) or James Paxton (whose third rehab start with Tacoma was interrupted after 44 pitches by a torn fingernail).
• When Kyle Seager hit his 30th double of the season on Friday, along with his 22nd homer, he became the seventh player in Mariners history to hit 30 doubles and 20 homers in three seasons. The others are Edgar Martinez (seven times), Ken Griffey Jr. (six), Bret Boone (four), Raul Ibanez (four) and Alvin Davis (three).
• Rookie catcher John Hicks threw out A's leadoff hitter Billy Burns trying to steal second twice on Friday. Burns had been successful on 25 of his first 31 attempts this year.
"He's got a quick release," McClendon said of the recently promoted Hicks. "He comes with a reputation of throwing guys out and I can see why. I don't think he has the biggest arm strength, but his feet are quick, his release is quick. He's OK. We just have to keep evaluating."