A day after hitting a home run to force extra innings, Kyle Seager was out of the Mariners' lineup with the same ailment that forced Dee Gordon onto the disabled list earlier this season.
BALTIMORE — The Mariners welcomed Nelson Cruz back to the lineup but lost hot-hitting Kyle Seager for Thursday’s series finale against the Baltimore Orioles at steamy Camden Yards.
Manager Scott Servais said Seager was “sore” after hurting his toe during a swing in the Mariners’ 8-7, 11-inning victory on Wednesday night.
“He actually has the same thing that Dee Gordon has earlier in the year,” Servais said. “It was a weird deal. He felt it on one swing. It was a foul ball. It bothered him.”
The Orioles were likely thrilled to see Seager out of the lineup. He hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to send Wednesday’s game into extra innings and the night before went deep and accounted for all three RBIs in a 3-2 victory over Baltimore.
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Servais said the ligament injury would not keep Seager out of the lineup long, dismissing the idea of a stint on the disabled list. In fact, he indicated Seager wanted to play on Thursday.
“It’s probably not quite as severe as what Dee had,” Servais said. “I thought it best to maybe just give him a down today. Let it calm down a little bit.
“Dee’s game is driven by speed. Kyle, not so much,” Servais added with a chuckle. “It’s something he can play through but I thought it best to just give him the day off.”
Servais said it was a tough call to rest Seager as the Mariners looked for their first four-game sweep of Baltimore on the road in franchise history.
“He’s certainly deserving of a day (off),” he said. “Tough to get him out of there when he’s going so good. He’s starting to get a little hot. But we’re playing for the long haul here.”
Cruz, who has a team-leading 20 home runs and 48 RBIs in 66 games, had missed the last two games with lower back tightness. He batted cleanup as the designated hitter on Thursday.
“He’s good to go, anxious to get in there,” Servais said of Cruz. “He had a great week last week swinging the bat. Hopefully, we can get that going again.”
Cruz, who ranks fifth in A.L. All-Star balloting as the DH, said his back felt “good enough to play.”
“I feel better today than yesterday,” he said. “I pushed it back yesterday to just give it an extra day. We’re playing for the long run.”
The temperature was in the 90s for Thursday’s game and Servais said he was looking forward to getting back to Safeco Field for Friday’s match-up with Kansas City, the opener of a nine-game homestand.
“This is really the first hot, muggy day we’ve run into all year,” he said. “It’s one of the advantages of playing in Seattle. We have 81 games, and with the roof on you don’t find this kind of humidity and the heat.”