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Smith scratched vs. Angels with groin tightness

Cruz gets start in right field; Weeks at DH

SEATTLE -- Mariners right fielder Seth Smith was sidelined by tightness in his groin muscle, manager Lloyd McClendon said prior to Wednesday night's game with the Angels at Safeco Field.

Smith went 3-for-3 with two doubles and a triple in his Seattle debut on Monday's Opening Day victory, but didn't play on Tuesday and was again out of the lineup for the series finale.

Video: LAA@SEA: Smith hits an RBI ground-rule double

"We'll give him another day," McClendon said.

The Mariners have Thursday off to travel to Oakland, where they'll begin their first road series on Friday. McClendon said he hoped Smith would be available to play against the A's, though Oakland is starting southpaw Drew Pomeranz on Friday so the left-handed-hitting Smith likely won't be in the lineup that game regardless since he was acquired primarily as a platoon option against right-handers.

The A's have right-handers scheduled to start Saturday and Sunday.

Smith wasn't expected to play on Tuesday either when the Angels had lefty C.J. Wilson on the mound, but he was noticeably absent when Seattle faced right-hander Matt Shoemaker on Wednesday.

McClendon instead went with right-handed-hitting Nelson Cruz in right field, with fellow right-hander Rickie Weeks taking Cruz's spot at designated hitter. So essentially Weeks took Smith's place in the lineup while Cruz moved into his spot in the field.

"It's the old saying, 'Next man up,'" McClendon said.

Smith, 32, was acquired from the Padres in a December trade for reliever Brandon Maurer after hitting .266 with 31 doubles, five triples and 12 home runs in 136 games for San Diego last season.

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