Tight left calf sidelines Ichiro

Updated: August 25, 2009, 12:58 AM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Bothered by a sore calf for about a week, Ichiro Suzuki finally took a seat.

The All-Star outfielder was out of the Seattle Mariners lineup on Monday night against Oakland because of tightness in his left calf, the first game he has missed since April 15 when he made his season debut after starting the year on the disabled list.

Suzuki left Sunday's game in Cleveland before the start of the ninth inning. Manager Don Wakamatsu noticed Suzuki wasn't sprinting at normal speed down to first on a groundball back to the mound in the eighth inning and pulled Suzuki before the injury could get worse.

"He's had this tightness in his calf for a little while now where he's been getting massages on it and trying to stretch it out," Wakamatsu said. "It finally grabbed on him a little bit yesterday in that last at-bat. He says it feels a lot better than he thought it would today so that is a good sign."

Wakamatsu said it'll likely be Wednesday at the earliest before Suzuki is back in the lineup. The nine-time All-Star missed eight games at the start of this season with severe fatigued caused by a bleeding ulcer. Despite the brief trip to the disabled list, Suzuki is still on pace to become only the third player in American League history to record at least nine 200-hit seasons, joining Ty Cobb and record-holder Pete Rose, who has 10 seasons of 200 or more hits.

Suzuki has 184 so far this season and is hitting .359, good for second in the American League behind Minnesota's Joe Mauer. He won't have a chance to extend that total the next couple of days. Wakamatsu has no plans to use Suzuki as a pinch hitter.

"You're risking some things if he's not 100 percent at this point," Wakamatsu said. "For me it's playing him or not."

Franklin Gutierrez took over Suzuki's normal leadoff spot in the batting order, while newly acquired Bill Hall got the start in right field.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE