By John Boyle Herald Writer
SEATTLE — It’s bad enough that Jesus Montero has been struggling at the plate lately, but on Wednesday he took some abuse behind the plate as well.
In the fifth inning of what would eventually be a 4-2 Baltimore victory, Orioles second baseman Robert Andino fouled a pitch directly into the forehead of Montero, who immediately appeared woozy as he stumbled away from home plate.
Moments later, Montero was taken out of the game and replaced by Miguel Olivo.
“It’s a very mild concussion,” said Mariners Manager Eric Wedge. “We don’t think it’s anything that’s going to be similar to (Franklin Gutierrez) to where we’re going to have to put him on the DL, but we’re going to reevaluate him tomorrow and then make that decision.
“He was just a little bit off, a little bit dizzy… We just didn’t feel comfortable pushing him through that.”
Montero was coherent enough after the game to discuss the injury with reporters, and said that, while painful, the shot he took Wednesday wasn’t as bad as two that he took during spring training.
“The catchers, we always get that, so we’ve got to be tough, we’ve got to fight through it,” he said. ” … I feel good. I feel a little dizzy, but it’s going to be OK.”
Montero isn’t the only Mariner to suffer a concussion recently, as center fielder Franklin Gutierrez remains on the disabled list after being hit in the head with a pickoff attempt last week. Gutierrez is recovering well, Wedge said, but won’t be back this week.
“He’s getting better,” Wedge said. “But we’re not going to see him before the All Star break.”
The Mariners had three hits Wednesday, marking the sixth time this season and second time on this homestand that they have been held to three hits or fewer … Steve Delabar, who struck out four in two innings of relief work, leads the Mariners with a ration of 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.