BOSTON – Two months since he last played the outfield for the Mariners, Michael Morse finally got another crack at it.
Morse started Tuesday night’s game in right field after being activated off the 15-day disabled list for a strained quadriceps muscle. He had appeared in just 11 games since May 28, all of them limited to designated hitter, first base and pinch-hitting duty since injuring the quad.
“It’s good to be back,’’ said Morse, who hadn’t appeared in a game since June 21. “The guys have been playing great, it’s been fun to watch and now I get a chance to be a part of it.’’
Morse said the timing of his swing didn’t seem to be impacted during his injury rehabilitation outings at Class AAA Tacoma. But the swing looked late at times on Tuesday. He struck out his first three times up and finished 0 for 4.
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His third strikeout came in the sixth inning after the Mariners, down 6-1, loaded the bases with one out.
Since hitting six home runs his first nine games of the season, Morse’s campaign has been dramatically impacted by injury. First, he played for weeks through the pain of a broken finger suffered the second week of April. The quad injury struck soon after.
“It’s been a tough season,’’ he said. “Everybody plays through injuries and stuff. I’m healthy now.’’
• Nick Franklin continued his hot hitting by lining a double to left field in the first inning. He entered the night tied for the major-league lead in runs batted in since the All-Star break with 13 in 10 games.
Franklin made history over the weekend with his second two-homer game of the season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Michael Young, playing for Texas in 2001, is the only other second baseman in the past 48 years to have two multihomer games his rookie season.
• The Mariners entered the night tied with Oakland for the third-most wins in the AL this month. Tampa Bay led with 20, followed by Detroit at 16 and the A’s and Mariners with 15.