ANAHEIM, Calif. — Mariners first baseman Ty France was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday because of a sprained elbow, a big blow for a team that just tied its longest winning streak of the season with its fourth straight victory Friday night.

France, who has been the team’s most productive hitter by far this season, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 flexor strain in his left forearm/elbow area, and he was put on the IL retroactive to June 24.

Infielder Drew Ellis was called up from Class AAA Tacoma to take France’s spot on the roster.

France was injured in Thursday’s victory at Oakland when A’s base runner Sheldon Neuse collided with France’s glove, pulling back France’s arm awkwardly. He feared the injury might have been worse when he heard a crack when it happened.

“The first thing that goes through your mind is something is torn, you need surgery and who knows how long you will be out,” France said Saturday. “Going into that MRI (on Friday), I was a little nervous, but it came back as good as can be.”

The MRI showed no tears, and for the next few days France will receive treatment to bring down the swelling. He said he was given no timetable for his return.


“It’s all going to be based on my pain tolerance,” he said. “Once I can start swinging again, I am pretty much in the clear.”

France, 27, is hitting .316 with 10 homers and 45 runs batted in. He has an OPS of .866. He said he will continue throwing because the injury is to his nonthrowing arm, then advance to ground balls and then to swinging.

Dylan Moore started at first base on Friday and Kevin Padlo got the start at first base Saturday. Mariners manager Scott Servais said Saturday that Abraham Toro, Luis Torrens and Ellis could also see time at first base.

“I am not sure how it’s all going to play out, but we’re going to give a number of guys opportunities,” Servais said.

Ellis was claimed off waivers June 16 from Arizona. He has played 13 games at first base in Class AAA this season, with Reno and Tacoma.

He hit .217 with five homers and 33 RBI in 158 at-bats at Class AAA this season, and had two hits in 13 at-bats (.154) with Arizona this year.


Ellis was with Tacoma on Friday night, playing in a game against the Sugar Land Space Cowboys in Sugar Land, Texas, when he got the news he was called up. He caught a plane Saturday morning for Anaheim.

“I was a little surprised,” Ellis said of the news he was joining Seattle.

He said he was not told what to expect, “and whatever happens, happens. I am looking forward to the opportunity.”

Ellis has also played second base this season, and said he feels comfortable playing anywhere in the infield.

While France is a good defensive first baseman, it’s his offense that will be hardest to replace.

Seattle has struggled offensively all season, in part because of injuries to outfielders Mitch Haniger and Kyle Lewis, and catcher Tom Murphy.

It only gets tougher with another key cog out, but Servais was relieved France’s absence might not be long-term.

“I think, knock on wood, that we were fortunate it wasn’t worse,” Servais said.