By Todd Dybas The News Tribune
NEW YORK — Tuesday’s sixth inning brought on one of the Seattle Mariners’ worst nightmares: a grimace on Felix Hernandez’s face.
Hernandez said he felt a “pinch” in his lower back — which has bothered him on occasion this season — when he turned and threw to second. Shifting all of his weight from one side to the other while throwing to second gave him a shot of pain.
After taking a warmup pitch, Hernandez waved off manager Eric Wedge and trainer Rick Griffin to finish the sixth. But, that was it. Wedge wouldn’t let Hernandez back out for the seventh.
“He said he was pretty sore still this morning,” Wedge said. “(But), he feels good. (Trainer) Rick (Griffin) felt like he got him in a good place last night after the game and it’s going good (Wednesday), so we should be fine.”
Wedge said he doesn’t expect any change in routine or preparation for Hernandez.
Hernandez was his usual bubbly self in the clubhouse and not interested in talking about his back. He said he’s “fine.”
Morse settling n?
Michael Morse had back-to-back-to-back games with multiple hits after two hits Wednesday night. Since coming back to the American League from the Washington Nationals of the NL, Morse has been bombarded with off-speed pitches.
Tuesday night, CC Sabathia started Morse with a curveball, which he smacked down the right-field line for a double.
Wedge’s batting order on Wednesday again had Kyle Seager batting third, Kendrys Morales at cleanup and Morse hitting fifth. Morse was 2-for-4.
“I think once (Morse) gets going, it doesn’t really matter where he hits,” Wedge said. “We want him in the middle with Kendrys someplace. But, he’s been a little bit better the past couple days, so there’s no reason to mess with it.”
Morales and Morse have both said they have no concerns about their place in the batting order.
“Once we get everybody into their rhythm, we have a chance to be a pretty good offensive club,” Wedge said.
An almost Mariner
Third baseman David Adams made his major league debut Wednesday night with the Yankees. You may remember him as the reason the Cliff Lee deal with the Yankees fell through.
Adams was supposed to be part of a midseason three-player package for Lee in 2010. Jesus Montero was the vaunted prospect in the deal, but it was Adams’ bum ankle that caused the Mariners to pull back just prior to completion of the trade.
Adams said Wednesday he grew up a Ken Griffey Jr. fan. He was 1-for-4 in his debut, picking up his first career hit on his birthday.
Gutierrez, Kinney update
Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring) ran again Wednesday. He’s expected to start a rehab assignment today or Friday. Reliever Josh Kinney (stress reaction in his ribs) is expected to pitch Friday in Tacoma. He was placed on the 60-day DL April 1.