Opponent: Kansas City Royals
When: 7:10 p.m.
Where: Safeco Field
Radio: ESPN 710 AM
Pitchers: Seattle left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith (1-7, 5.92 earned run average) vs. right-hander Zach Greinke (4-8, 3.94).
Bedard stalled by sore shoulder
Tonight was scheduled to be left-hander Erik Bedard’s return to the Mariners’ pitching rotation after nearly 11 months of recovery from shoulder surgery.
Instead, Bedard is down again after experiencing discomfort in the shoulder and it’s uncertain when he’ll pitch.
“He says he’s still feeling a little bit of discomfort in his shoulder,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “It crept up on him in his last bullpen.”
The setback removes, for now, the question of who’ll lose their place in the rotation when Bedard returns. Ryan Rowland-Smith will start tonight against the Royals, with right-hander Doug Fister pitching the series finale Wednesday night, left-hander Jason Vargas the opener Thursday against the Yankees, lefty Cliff Lee on Friday and righty Felix Hernandez on Saturday against the Yankees.
“Depending on the news with Bedard and where we’re at, we’ll go from there,” manager Don Wakamatsu said.
Bedard had surgery Aug. 14 to repair a torn labrum and, while his recovery has been ahead of schedule with few setbacks, this is the second time in a little more than a month that he has experienced discomfort. He also was slowed after he’d thrown a bullpen in May.
Bedard made three minor league rehab starts, two with rookie-level Peoria and last Thursday with the Class AAA Tacoma Rainiers, throwing 81 pitches in 41/3 innings against Portland. The Mariners said he felt fine after that outing, but not after he threw a bullpen Saturday in Tacoma during what would have been his final tuneup before tonight’s game.
He was examined Monday by Mariners medical director Dr. Edward Khalfayan.
“Rather than jump right into the start and hope that it goes away, we’ll find out what the doctor says about it and hopefully they’ll reassure him that it’s nothing serious and that it’s just a little bit of stiffness after this last bullpen,” Wakamatsu said. “We talked to him three or four days ago and he said he felt fine. But after this last bullpen he said he felt some stiffness in there. Rather than risk it, now is a time to be a little bit precautionary.”
Lowe, Kelley feeling relief
Injured relief pitchers Mark Lowe and Shawn Kelley may take important steps late this week in their recovery from injuries.
Lowe, who had back surgery last month and is expected to miss the rest of the season, will be examined Friday and may begin therapy if he gets a good report. Lowe is walking without pain and says he feels better each day.
“I was able to tie my shoes without pain for the first time in six weeks,” Lowe said.
Kelley, on the DL since June 16 because of right elbow inflammation, may begin a throwing program after he’s examined Wednesday.
Milton Bradley didn’t start for the second straight game because of what Wakamatsu described as stiffness in his legs. His status is considered day-to-day, the manager said. … When Russell Branyan and Casey Kotchman hit three-run home runs Sunday at Detroit, it was the first time the Mariners had homered twice in the same game with at least two runners on base since July 18, 2008. Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam and Jose Lopez a three-run homer that day against the Indians at Safeco Field. …Entering Monday, the Mariners’ previous 14 nine-inning games averaged 2 hours 35 minutes, and all were played in less than three hours. The last game of more than three hours was their 13-inning loss June 24 against the Cubs, covering 4 hours 2 minutes.
Kirby Arnold, Herald Writer