MLB

Preview: Rays ready for rebound attempt against Mariners

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SEATTLE -- The hits just keep on coming for the Seattle Mariners.

And not just base hits.

The Mariners placed shortstop Jean Segura, who was tied for the American League lead with a .341 batting average, on the 10-day disabled list before their series opener Friday against Tampa Bay with a right high ankle sprain.

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Segura suffered the injury while sliding into second base in the fourth inning Thursday against Colorado and was helped off the field.

Teammate Nelson Cruz, who also left Thursday's game early, was more fortunate. The designated hitter, who suffered a bruised left hand when hit by a pitch by the Rockies' Kyle Freeland, was back in his cleanup spot Friday.

"It could have been much worse with everything that has happened to us this year," Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

Seattle rookie right-hander Sam Gaviglio (1-1, 3.50 ERA) is scheduled to make his fourth start Saturday against Tampa Bay right-hander Alex Cobb (4-4, 3.67). Cobb is 2-3 with a 5.28 ERA in six career starts against the Mariners.

What has happened to Seattle is almost unparalleled.

Mostly because of injuries, the Mariners have made 96 transactions involving their 40-man roster in 60 days since Opening Day. As Tim Hevly, the team's senior director of baseball information points out, that's one move every 15 hours.

The first three batters in Seattle's order -- Segura, Mitch Haniger and Robinson Cano -- have spent time on the disabled list, including two stints for Segura. Haniger has been on the DL since April 26 with a strained right oblique and Cano missed 10 days in May with a strained right quadriceps.

All but one member of the Mariners' projected season-opening rotation has been disabled. Right-handers Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma have been on the DL since April 26 and May 10, respectively, with right shoulder inflammation. Left-hander Drew Smyly, acquired in an offseason trade with Tampa Bay, has yet to make his Mariners debut because of a left arm flexor strain and James Paxton just returned Wednesday after being out for more than a month with a left forearm strain.

"A lot of things have happened. I don't know if there's any rationale behind it, we've got hit by the (injury) bug," Servais said. "I've never gone through anything like this. There's no slowing or stopping the schedule. You just look series to series and say, 'How can we pull this out?'

"The focus is to keep this team competitive and keep us in the mix until everybody gets back and we become whole. I want to see what we can do when we get everyone back. … We still don't know how good we are. We win four in a row, think we've got it all figured out, then lose four in a row."

Despite all the injuries, Seattle somehow went 14-14 in May.

"I didn't even know we played .500 in May," Servais admitted. "We're just going day-to-day. This is a very resilient group. We'll find a way."

Even players from opposing teams have taken note of Seattle's injury woes.

"That's what happened to us last year," said Tampa Bay's Corey Dickerson, who went 2-for-5 Friday to improve to .342 and take over the AL batting lead from Segura. "It's pretty tough to watch. It's demoralizing to have (that many injuries), especially your best guys. It puts more weight on everyone's shoulders. You miss those guys in the lineup every day."

Tampa Bay second baseman Brad Miller, who made his own return from the disabled list Friday from a left abdominal strain, spent the first three years of his career with the Mariners before being acquired in a trade before the 2016 season.

"I'm still in touch with some guys over there," Miller said. "Any injury is frustrating individually and for the team."