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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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June 25, 2009 11:56 AM

Betancourt to DL, Lopez returns to lineup

Posted by Tom Wyrwich

It is official: Yuniesky Betancourt is heading to the disabled list with a lower right hamstring injury he suffered Wednesday night.

Betancourt, who entered the clubhouse on crutches, should miss at least 15 days, manager Don Wakamatsu said Thursday afternoon before the Mariners had performed an MRI to understand the severity of the injury. This, Wakamatsu said, is not the same hamstring injury Betancourt suffered in spring training.

Betancourt's move to the disabled list makes room for second baseman Jose Lopez to return today from the bereavement list. Lopez flew home to Venezuela last Thursday to attend to his sister, who had cancer, but she died before he could arrive.

Lopez stayed in Venezuela for the funeral and returned to Seattle on Wednesday night.

"He was extremely tired, flew nine hours and didn't get a whole lot of sleep while he was on the bereavement," Wakamatsu said. "But he's good to go today."

Lopez was the third player in a week to miss time because of a death in the family; Russell Branyan and Rob Johnson also briefly left the team last week.

"I've just never been around when a team's been struck with three in one week," Wakamatsu said. "That's probably the most devastating for us."

Until Chris Woodward fully recovers from a hamstring pull, Ronny Cedeno will be the full-time shortstop. Last week's acquisition of infielder Josh Wilson has added depth, but Wakamatsu admits, "We're awfully thin right now."

Other notes:

-The Mariners gave Ken Griffey Jr. the day off to rest his sore knee, and he should return either Friday or Saturday.
-Catcher Kenji Johjima will be activated Friday and will start against the Dodgers.
-Starter Erik Bedard will throw side sessions today and Saturday and either a side session or simulated game next week in New York. The target date for his return is July 4 in Boston.
-Shawn Kelley threw a bullpen session Thursday, and he will pitch two games in Arizona before joining AAA Tacoma.
-Outfielder Tyson Gillies and third baseman Alex Liddi, both with High-A High Desert, have been selected for the World Team in the Futures Game, which takes place the Sunday before the All-Star Game in St. Louis.


PADRES (31-39)

Everth Cabrera SS
David Eckstein 2B
Scott Hairston CF
Adrian Gonzalez DH
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
Chase Headley LF
Kyle Blanks 1B
Edgar Gonzalez RF
Henry Blanco C

LHP Wade LeBlanc (0-0, 9.00 ERA)

MARINERS (36-35)

Ichiro Suzuki RF
Russell Branyan 1B
Adrian Beltre 3B
Mike Sweeney DH
Jose Lopez 2B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Rob Johnson C
Ronny Cedeno SS
Wladimir Balentien LF

LHP Jarrod Washburn (3-5, 3.24 ERA)

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