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News » Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-04-24

Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-04-24

Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-04-24
Unwilling to take a pitcher off the roster and unwilling to use the disabled list for what they feel are short-term injuries, the Mariners played with what essentially was a zero-man bench Thursday against Tampa Bay.

The club had both of its first basemen, Mike Sweeney and Russell Branyan, out with back injuries.

Infielder Ronny Cedeno, who was supposed to play second base with Jose Lopez shifted to first, had to be scratched from the lineup with a slightly pulled hamstring.

And Ken Griffey Jr., 39, had been given the day off, a move manager Don Wakamatsu didn't want to have to undo.

So backup catcher Jamie Burke played first base, Lopez returned to second base and Wakamatsu hoped no situation would come up that would force him to use one of Thursday's non-starters. None did as the Mariners beat the Rays 1-0.

"If I had to, I could (have) used Cedeno and told him to play at 50 percent," Wakamatsu said. "But it was better for Cedeno if he didn't play. And both Sweeney and Branyan needed one more day off."

It's possible Sweeney and Branyan both will be available for Friday, when the Mariners open a road trip with the first of three games in Anaheim against the Angels. Cedeno may need another day or two.

MARINERS 1: RAYS 0: RF Ichiro Suzuki homered on the second pitch of the game, and RHP Felix Hernandez and two relievers made it stand up as the Mariners took the rubber game of a three-game set with the Rays.

It was the 22nd time in big-league history that a leadoff homer has stood up as the only run in a 1-0 game. For Ichiro, it was the 28th time he'd led off a game with a homer in his Mariners career.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 24, 2009

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