After 2 weeks, team ready for a break

Staff writerApril 15, 2013 

SEATTLE — After 14 games in 14 days, the Seattle Mariners get a well-deserved day off today. They are the last team in all of big league baseball to have a day off.

They better enjoy it, because once they return they are scheduled to play 16 games in 16 days.

So what does manager Eric Wedge want to say to the schedule maker?

“It’s … you know what,” he said, catching himself. “I just saved myself a fine right there.

“I’ve never gone through a period where you open the season with 14 straight days and then you have a day off and go 16 straight. It is what it is.”

What it is, is a grind for a team that’s got two injured outfielders and could possibly continue without one of its best relievers.

“Everybody needs it,” he said about days off. “It’s long overdue for all the guys. They’ve been troupers, and they’ve (endured) through this. This off day should help them.”

Wedge hopes with the day off he will have Franklin Gutierrez (groin) and Michael Morse (fractured pinky) back in the lineup for Tuesday’s series opener against the Detroit Tigers.

“Morse is going to come in tomorrow and do some work and see how he feels,” Wedge said.

Most of the players don’t have major plans other than relaxing with their families.

It’s going to be exciting,” Dustin Ackley deadpanned.

Exciting, as in sleeping?

“More than likely,” Ackley said.

PRYOR SUFFERS STRAIN

Stephen Pryor became the latest casualty for the Mariners. The hard-throwing right-handed reliever left Sunday’s game in the eighth inning with muscle tightness under his right arm.

The Mariners medical staff’s preliminary diagnosis was a strain of his lattisimus dorsi.

“We have to see how he wakes and how he feels tomorrow and evaluate him then,” Wedge said.

Pryor said he felt tightness under his armpit in his second inning of work. It got progressively worse, and after he got Nelson Cruz to pop out to right field, he motioned for Wedge and the training staff.

“It feels like a cramp is the best way to describe it,” Pryor said. “It was the last couple pitches to (Lance) Berkman and it progressively got worse as I faced Cruz.”

Pryor is hoping it isn’t a serious setback. He said the tightness had actually subsided since he left the game.

“I don’t believe so,” he said when asked if it would keep him out for a while. “I guess we’ll find out.”

It would be a tough loss for the Seattle bullpen. Pryor has been solid this season, going 7 innings in seven appearances without allowing a run while striking out seven batters.

“With the off day, we don’t have to make any decisions tonight, so we’ll give it some time,” Wedge said. “He’s been outstanding. He was outstanding again today. If we do lose him for a period of time, that would be tough. But it’s a part of the game and someone else will have to step up.”

ON TAP

The Mariners will be back in action at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday when they play host to Detroit in the first game of a three-game series.

Ryan Divish: 253-597-8483 ryan.divish@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @RyanDivish

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