"He's been getting dinged. I don't know how many direct shots he's taken on foul tips this year. He passed medical protocol after, but he could tell he was off a little bit," Twins manager Paul Molitor said after the game. "Hopefully, he'll be OK. But he's just taken a number of those that have been significant. He gets a little woozy. But, if he takes another one in the course of that game, then we might have big problems. We decided to go ahead and get him out of the game."
Suzuki was replaced by Juan Centeno.
Suzuki struck out in his only at-bat in the second inning against Mariners pitcher Wade Miley.
The move left the Twins painfully thin behind the plate without a true designated emergency catcher. Molitor said both outfielder Byung Ho Park and infielder Eduardo Escobar were in the mix.
"Believe it or not, we've been toying with Park a little bit. Escobar is a candidate," Molitor said. "These guys that cover us regularly know that it's one of my fears, when you have to put your backup catcher in the game early like that. We'd have a couple options, none of them too favorable."
This marks the second time in this series the Twins have had to replace a starting position player during a game. On Friday, third baseman Trevor Plouffe left with an injury to his right knee that was later diagnosed as a bone bruise.
Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle.