Branyan, Lopez remain sidelined

A big chunk of the Mariners’ power was missing from the lineup again tonight as first baseman Russell Branyan and second baseman Jose Lopez are still out of action with back soreness.

They have combined to hit 36 of the Mariners’ 93 home runs this season.

“When we talked about it yesterday, we thought wed have Lopey and Russell back in there today,” manager Don Wakamatsu said, “but they both still a little bit stiff. Again, I’d like to think they’re going to be in there. With Russell, with him being stiff, just giving him one more day against a lefty wouldnt hurt either. The bottom line is that I think it’s better off resting them right now and letting them get in there tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, third baseman Adrian Beltre continues to get closer to coming off the 15-day disabled list.

“You guys saw his BP yesterday,” Wakamatsu said. “It’s as good as Ive seen him in a long time. He says he feels great. Our concern is not to rush it too much and him get activated and have to go right back on. That’s out biggest fear, so I think we’re going to do this for a couple days and we’ll see down in Texas. We talked about possibly activating him in KC, if everything goes well. We’ll look at that. The next couple days, how he reacts from BP. He was hitting balls in the upper deck yesterday. He’s said it two or three times, this feels better than when he had the first surgery, so that’s a good sign.”

Tonight’s lineups:

Blue Jays

Marco Scutaro, SS
Aaron Hill, 2B
Vernon Wells, CF
Scott Rolen, 3B
Alex Rios, RF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Kevin Millar, DH
Jose Bautista, LF
Raul Chavez, C
Marc Rzepezynksi, LHP


Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Mike Sweeney, DH
Chris Shelton, 1B
Jack Hannahan, 3B
Rob Johnson, C
Chris Woodward, 2B
Michael Saunders, LF
Ronny Cedeno, SS
Jarrod Washburn, LHP

— Jim Street



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