SEATTLE -- The Mariners won't have to face the Yankees without Kendrys Morales, who left Saturday's game against New York with back stiffness in the sixth inning. Morales was Seattle's designated hitter on Sunday to prevent the wear and tear he was getting playing first base.
"I walked into him earlier, he's feeling better," manager Eric Wedge said. "He was feeling better by the time we left here last night. They did some good work on him yesterday, so we'll DH him today."
Wedge acknowledged that playing Morales every day at first base probably contributed to his injury.
"We've had to push a lot of these guys, just because we're banged up and playing 20 days in a row, and everything else," Wedge said.
Morales led the Mariners with 18 multihit games, and was tied for third on the team in home runs with eight entering Sunday. He was a career .309 hitter against the Yankees, including .348 this year.
Seattle won't simply be able to flip Morales with Michael Morse at first base. Morse, who missed seven games recently with a right quad strain, has the day off because of what Wedge called the "slippery slope" of pushing recently injured players too much when they return. This meant that Alex Liddi -- who was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma in late May -- got the start at first base. It was his second start of the season.
Mariners trade infielder Catricala to A's
SEATTLE -- The Mariners announced on Sunday that they have traded Minor League infielder Vinnie Catricala to Oakland for a player to be named or cash considerations. Catricala had been designated for assignment when the Mariners called up right-handed pitcher Jeremy Bonderman from Triple-A Tacoma.
Seattle selected Catricala in the 10th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Hawaii. The 24-year-old hit .253 with eight doubles and three home runs for Double-A Jackson this season.
Bonderman pitched well in Friday night's game, giving up only one run in six innings of work, and retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.
• Wedge said that injured first baseman Justin Smoak and injured center fielder Franklin Gutierrez would not join the team on its upcoming road trip. Instead, he hopes to send them to Tacoma to get some work in.
• Second baseman Nick Franklin moved up to the No. 2 spot in the Mariners' lineup on Sunday. The 22-year old rookie had been batting sixth, but he has impressed coaches and fans with his batting skills.
"I've been debating about it," Wedge said. "We're thin as it is, he's been putting up as good of at-bats as anybody. He's not shy, so I think that probably works for him."
Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.