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Cruz homers in return; Seager out with toe injury

Nelson back in lineup after a lower back strain
MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- One comes up, another goes down.

That wass the story for the Mariners in Thursday's matinee against Baltimore, as Nelson Cruz was back in the lineup after missing two games with a lower back strain while Kyle Seager did not start because of a toe injury, manager Scott Servais said.

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BALTIMORE -- One comes up, another goes down.

That wass the story for the Mariners in Thursday's matinee against Baltimore, as Nelson Cruz was back in the lineup after missing two games with a lower back strain while Kyle Seager did not start because of a toe injury, manager Scott Servais said.

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Cruz slotted back into the designated hitter spot and hit cleanup. Coming into Thursday, he had slashed .277/.346/.478 with 19 home runs and 60 RBIs in 110 games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

On Thursday, Cruz faced Orioles starter Jimmy Yacabonis, who made his first Major League start. He slugged a two-run homer, his 21st of the season, in the fourth inning of the Mariners' 4-2 10-inning win.

Cruz played in the series opener in Baltimore, going 0-for-3 with two walks (one intentional), but he was kept out of the lineup the following two games with lower back tightness. Servais didn't rule out Cruz's availability as a pinch-hitter Wednesday, but the team decided to give him an extra day to fully recover.

"We are playing for the long run, so no need to push it, and it gets worse," Cruz said.

Seager's absence was more precautionary, Servais added, and he's not expected to go on the disabled list. Seager came off the bench to pinch-hit for Austin Romine in the ninth and stayed at third for the final two innings, fielding a popup and a grounder.

"It was kind of a weird deal. He felt it on one swing [Wednesday] … and it bothered him after that," Servais said of Seager, who was receiving treatment for a wrapped-up toe after Wednesday's win. "Thought, at best, give him a day down today to calm down a little bit. It's something he can play through, but thought it'd be best just talking with our medical people to just give him the day off today."

In the series against Baltimore, Seager went 5-for-15 with two home runs and five RBIs, including a game-tying home run in the ninth inning Wednesday.

Zachary Silver is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Seattle Mariners, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager