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Cruz resting, but expected to return today

MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz was sidelined for the second straight game with lower back tightness on Wednesday against the Orioles, but he is expected to return for Thursday's matinee in Baltimore.

Cruz was day to day after Monday's series opener against the Orioles, during which he went 0-for-3 with two walks (one intentional). Cruz was scratched shortly before Tuesday's game, and it was his first game out of the lineup since May 23.

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BALTIMORE -- Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz was sidelined for the second straight game with lower back tightness on Wednesday against the Orioles, but he is expected to return for Thursday's matinee in Baltimore.

Cruz was day to day after Monday's series opener against the Orioles, during which he went 0-for-3 with two walks (one intentional). Cruz was scratched shortly before Tuesday's game, and it was his first game out of the lineup since May 23.

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"I feel really good today," Cruz told reporters Wednesday. "Hopefully I can play tomorrow."

Manager Scott Servais did not use Cruz as a pinch-hitter on Wednesday.

"Nellie feels much better today," Servais said. "Still thought it would be best, talking to our medical staff, that we give him an extra day. Tough not putting him in here, I know he's anxious to play here in Baltimore.

"He knows his body so well, you've got to trust him. He agreed [it was] best to probably give it another day."

When asked if it's tough not playing while in Camden Yards, Cruz -- a former Oriole -- said, "there's more games than just these ones, and we are playing for the long run."

Ranked fifth in American League All-Star balloting at designated hitter, Cruz is slashing .270/.358/.566 with 20 home runs and 48 RBIs in 66 games.

After Denard Span filled in on Tuesday, Mitch Haniger batted in the DH spot for Wednesday's game.

Zachary Silver is a reporter for MLB.com.

Seattle Mariners, Nelson Cruz