SEATTLE -- Catcher Miguel Olivo was out of the Mariners' lineup for a second straight game Friday as he continues recovering from muscle cramps in his right hamstring, but manager Eric Wedge indicated the veteran was close to returning.
Josh Bard got the start again Friday against the Padres, with Jose Yepez as his backup. Both were selected from Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday after Olivo began having trouble with his leg and Chris Gimenez went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique muscle.
Olivo has started 50 of the past 59 games for the Mariners and prides himself on his durability, so he's eager to get back in action.
"He feels better," said Wedge. "Anxious, a little ornery, irritated. Those are all good things. Today, he'll take some BP and play catch. Tomorrow, we'll get him running around a little bit. We'll see where he's at. I think tomorrow or the next day he should be OK."
Once Olivo is better, Yepez likely will be returned to Tacoma. The 30-year-old has never played in the Major Leagues, and had to be added to the 40-man roster due to the sudden shortage.
But the Mariners will need a roster spot by Sunday in order to add a fill-in starting pitcher for Erik Bedard, who also went on the disabled list Wednesday with a sprained knee.
Wedge said he doesn't expect Bedard to be out longer than his minimum 15-day DL stint.
"I had a good talk with him today," said Wedge. "We'll take him on the trip, have him keep working and get him back going and keep him in it mentally and physically. Hopefully we can get him back right after the break. That's the plan. Hopefully they caught it early enough that we can nip it in the bud and get right back at it."
The other under-the-radar health news involved backup infielder Jack Wilson, who was absent Tuesday and Wednesday while fighting the flu. The team sent him home to keep him away from his teammates and avoid the illness from spreading, but he was back Friday and available for duty.
Ackley out of lineup with bruised ribs
SEATTLE -- Hot-hitting Mariners rookie Dustin Ackley finally found something to slow his start, as the young second baseman was sidelined Friday by bruised ribs he suffered Wednesday in a 5-3 loss to the Braves.
Ackley has reached base in all 12 of his appearances since being called up from Triple-A Tacoma two weeks ago, and he hit a home run off Braves reliever Jonny Venters in his last at-bat Wednesday, but he apparently hurt his ribs earlier in that game.
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The Mariners were off Thursday, and manager Eric Wedge decided to hold the 23-year-old out of Friday's series opener against the Padres at Safeco Field rather than risk further injury.
Adam Kennedy moved back to second base against San Diego, with Chone Figgins getting the start at third.
"It's nothing serious, but he feels it a little bit when he gets to the tail end of his swing," Wedge said. "I debated a little bit whether to go ahead and let him swing and work his way up to it, but I just don't feel it makes any sense to push it today. So we'll stay away from him. I think he'll be OK for tomorrow."
Wedge didn't rule out Ackley's availability as a pinch-hitter, though he sounded like he'd prefer to avoid that if possible.
Wedge said Ackley wasn't sure exactly when he suffered the injury or whether he got hurt diving for a ball on defense or sliding into a base. But the youngster did receive treatment after Wednesday's game and didn't take part in Friday's batting practice.
Ackley is hitting .300 and has quickly become a clutch hitter for the Mariners. Eight of his 12 hits have come in the seventh inning or later, and he's batting .571 with six runs, a double, triple, home run and three RBIs after the sixth inning.
The left-hander is also 6-for-8 against southpaws, including his home run against Venters on Wednesday. Lefties were hitting .116 against Venters, and that was the first extra-base hit by a left-hander against the tough setup man this season.
Mariners will call up starter for Sunday's game
SEATTLE -- Manager Eric Wedge wasn't ready to name names, but the Mariners' skipper said the team would be bringing up a starter from the Minor Leagues to fill in Sunday for injured left-hander Erik Bedard.
Bedard went on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a sprained left knee he suffered late in his last outing on Monday.
Wedge said the rotation would stay in line after Bedard's spot, which means rookie Michael Pineda will pitch Monday's series opener in Oakland and Felix Hernandez will go Tuesday.
But the Sunday answer won't be announced until Saturday, with the most likely candidates being Luke French or Blake Beavan from Triple-A Tacoma. French, 25, started 13 games last year and was 5-7 with a 4.83 ERA in 87 2/3 innings in 16 appearances.
"We're about 95 percent sure who it's going to be, but I think we'll wait until tomorrow to release that," Wedge said.
Beavan, 22, was acquired in the Cliff Lee deal last year and is a former first-round Draft pick of the Rangers who has been throwing well for Tacoma this season.
French pitched Monday and Beavan threw Tuesday for the Rainiers, so either could go Sunday on fairly normal schedule. French is on the 40-man roster, but Beavan is not, so someone would need to be designated for assignment off the 40-man if he got the nod.
The Mariners will need someone to start at least two games in Bedard's absence, with the 32-year-old expected back after the All-Star break on July 14.
Wedge isn't interested in patching together a spot start or two from his bullpen crew, even with little-used long reliever Jeff Gray and middle relievers David Pauley and Aaron Laffey all having starting experience. With a six-man bullpen, the Mariners could wipe out much of their crew in one or two outings in that scenario.
"I've never been a big fan of that, because then you can play uphill for a while," Wedge said. "A lot of things have to go right when you do that, so I think we'll stay away from that."
The Mariners also declined to use Thursday's off-day to push all their healthy starters up a day and keep them on a five-day schedule, feeling the extra day is needed for rookie Michael Pineda -- and everyone else -- at this juncture.
Seattle is the only team in the Majors whose five starters haven't missed a turn yet, a run that will end Sunday.
"Losing Bedard, Pineda isn't the only guy we're taking care of," said pitching coach Carl Willis. "Last year was [Doug] Fister's first full year in the big leagues. [Jason] Vargas had a huge jump in his innings. We're trying to take care of them all.
"I don't know if we'd do it any differently if Michael weren't 22 and in his first year. I think it best suits the entire rotation, especially leading up to [the All-Star Game], where they can all get a break."