Before Seattle’s 6-3, 10-inning win over Oakland Sunday, Mariners manager Eric Wedge talked about the importance of having Franklin Gutierrez back in the lineup after missing two months with hamstring issues.
“We’ve missed him this year more than anybody,’’ Wedge said. “You saw it all spring – this guy’s a difference maker.’’
After the game, though, Wedge was left to answer questions about yet another Gutierrez ailment as the center fielder left the game after six innings with what the team officially called a “tight hamstring.’’
Gutierrez was apparently injured when he banged into the outfield wall in the fourth inning tracking down a long fly ball from Oakland’s Jed Lowrie.
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Wedge said Gutierrez will be re-evaluated when the Mariners return to Safeco Field on Tuesday to play the Pirates.
“His legs tightened up on him again so we’ll see how he feels in a couple days,’’ Wedge said.
Gutierrez has often been injured, or ill, the past three seasons. But the Mariners hoped he was ready for a good finish to 2013 when he returned to the lineup Saturday and hit a home run and a double in a 7-5 win over the A’s.
Sunday, Wedge stated the obvious — that Gutierrez returning to the bench so quickly wasn’t what the Mariners needed to see from the outfielder.
“It’s not what we wanted, that’s for sure,’’ Wedge said. “He felt good (before the game).’’
• The walkoff, pinch-hit home run by Kendrys Morales was a rarity for the Mariners. In fact, it was just the second in team history. Ken Phelps did it against Detroit on Sept. 3, 1986.
It was the first time Seattle had won a game on a walkoff home run since Luis Rodriguez did it against the Yankees on Sept. 14, 2011.
It was also the second walkoff home run for Morales, the other coming with the Angels against Seattle on May 29, 2010 when he then broke his left leg in a celebration at the plate.
• Wedge said three relievers were not available Sunday — apparently Carter Capps, Charlie Furbush and Yoervis Medina. That forced him to use Danny
Farquhar and Oliver Perez for multiple innings. Farquhar went 22
3 innings and Perez two innings, the latter getting his second win of the season. Had the game gone another inning, Tom Wilhelmsen would have pitched, Wedge said.
• The Mariners have signed eighth-round pick Tyler Smith, a shortstop from Oregon State. The team has signed each of its first 20 picks from the June draft, and 31 of the top 40. The Mariners have until July 12 at 2 p.m. to sign players from this draft.