Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez turned in a dynamic display at Dodger Stadium two weeks ago in the Home Run Derby.
The Mariners were anticipating how their standout outfielder would perform on another big stage in Yankee Stadium.
Instead, the Mariners will head into the opener of a three-game series with the New York Yankees on Monday night missing Rodriguez due to a bruised right wrist.
Rodriguez was injured when he was hit by a pitch by Houston reliever Rafael Montero in the eighth inning on Saturday. Although X-rays were negative, Rodriguez was so sore that he would not be able to hold a bat for at least five days.
Instead of playing a man short, the Mariners opted to place him on the injured list Sunday, meaning he would not face the Yankees this week and next week when the Mariners host New York.
“I think everybody knows — your wrist, your hands — you know how sensitive that area is when you’ve got to bat,” manager Scott Servais said. “And let’s do it right. Let’s make sure he’s fully healthy when he comes back.”
Without Rodriguez, the Mariners took a 3-2 loss to the host Houston Astros on Sunday when Brennan Bernardino allowed an RBI single to Yordan Alvarez in the 10th inning after Seattle’s Jesse Winker hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth.
“Our guys played with a lot of grit,” Servais said.
The Mariners are 4-6 in their past 10 games since entering the All-Star break on a 14-game winning streak. Besides missing Rodriguez, Seattle was without leading hitter Ty France, who is day-to-day with swelling in his left wrist that might keep him out for the series in New York.
New York heads into a stretch where 18 of its next 21 games are against teams with winning records. They are coming off a disappointing 8-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. The Yankees were unable to get their 70th win and complete a four-game sweep when Clay Holmes allowed a go-ahead three-run homer to Salvador Perez in the ninth inning.
While Holmes has 17 saves in 20 chances this year, he struggled in July by posting a 7.00 ERA in 10 appearances.
Holmes’ recent struggles may prompt the Yankees to add some more relievers by Tuesday’s trading deadline, but their concern is with the here and now after they lost for the 11th time in 19 games.
“If we’re able to do something, I’m sure I’ll be excited about it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “But my focus is on who we have right now. We’ve been one of the best teams, if not the best team, in the league, and we’ll continue to be that whatever happens over the next 48 hours. And that’s where my focus lies.”
New York right-hander Domingo German (0-1, 8.22 ERA) will make his third start since returning from a shoulder injury to replace the injured Luis Severino. German has allowed seven runs on 11 hits in 7 2/3 innings in a pair of road starts against the Houston Astros and New York Mets.
German is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in two career appearances against the Mariners.
Left-hander Marco Gonzales (6-10, 3.66 ERA), who has allowed two earned runs or fewer 15 times, goes for Seattle. He last pitched Wednesday, when he yielded two runs and four hits in seven innings in a win over the Texas Rangers.
Gonzales is 0-1 with a 3.32 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees.