The Mariners Monday activated OF Michael Saunders from the 15-day disabled list and were to start him in right field Monday night, the first of three games against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field. Saunders has not been with the club since July 10 when he left a game against Minnesota in the eighth inning with a strained left oblique muscle.
Saunders was placed on the 15-day disabled list the next day. The Mariners sent Saunders to AAA Tacoma on a rehabilitation assignment Aug. 7, and he hit .257 (9×35) with 14 walks in 10 games. Following the game Aug. 19, Saunders missed three games and was then recalled from his rehab assignment Aug. 22 after being diagnosed with a viral infection.
He was working out at the Mariners’ minor league facility in Peoria, AZ., prior to being activated Monday.
“I don’t know if he’s game-ready or not,” said manager Lloyd McClendon before the game. “He’ll need a day or two.”
He was needed because LF Dustin Ackley remains out with a sore ankle. Endy Chavez, normally a right fielder, was to start in Ackley’s spot Monday.
Ackley, who has missed seemed confident that his ankle soreness was not serious.
“It’s nothing crazy,” he said.
Saunders played 65 games for the Mariners this season, batting .276 with six home runs and 28 RBIs.
The Mariners, who were tied by Detroit earlier in the day for for the AL’s second wild card spot when the Tigers beat Kansas City 9-5, started Felix Hernandez (14-5, 2.18) against the Astros. He was opposed by RHP Brad Peacock (4-8, 5.01).