Both Mariners catchers banged up in loss

Both Mariners catchers banged up in loss

SEATTLE -- In less than one hour, the Mariners catcher count went from two to zero.

Starting catcher Miguel Olivo was taken out in the fourth inning of Tuesday's 5-4 loss to Atlanta due to cramps in his right hamstring. He was hydrated and treated in the clubhouse and is being re-evaluated. His status for Wednesday's 12:40 p.m. PT game against the Braves is unknown.

Backup catcher Chris Gimenez took over behind the plate, but he caught the injury bug shortly thereafter, straining his oblique in the fifth inning and later in the seventh inning could not even swing the bat.

But Olivo and Gimenez are the only catchers on the roster, so Gimenez was forced to fight through the pain and stay in the game.

Seattle manager Eric Wedge said that the team would take some time late Tuesday night to assess both injuries and figure out if a move needs to be made. Triple-A Tacoma catcher Josh Bard missed his third consecutive game Tuesday in Las Vegas with a toe problem and Jose Yepez started in his place.

With Seattle down, 5-4, and runners on first and second and two out in the bottom of the seventh, Gimenez attempted to bunt twice and then looked at strike three, unable to swing because of the strained oblique.

"I tell you what, Chris really sucked it up," Wedge said. "We had to keep him back there because we needed a catcher.

"In that situation there, we have him try to bunt for a hit. It was either two shots to get a bunt for a hit, otherwise he had to take it like a man and just hope that he walked him."

Gimenez fought through the pain and ended up making an impressive defensive play in the eighth inning. Chipper Jones flied out to Ichiro Suzuki, who then nailed Jason Heyward at the plate for the third out with Gimenez applying the tag.

"He really sucked it up on that throw from Ichiro," Wedge said. "If you saw his face, he was wincing pretty bad, so it was a warrior effort on his part just to get through that game for us."

It is unclear when Olivo was hurt. He smacked a deep fly ball over the head of Atlanta center fielder Jordan Schafer in the second inning and slid headfirst into second base for a double but did not show signs of pain.

Wedge had a short discussion on the field with his catcher prior to the fourth inning and pulled Olivo after just one batter.

Gimenez was brought up from Triple-A Tacoma on April 8. The 28-year-old is in his first season with the Mariners and is hitting .171 (7-for-41) through 16 games (14 starts) this season. His last start came one week ago in a June 21 loss at Washington.

Olivo has started 50 of the last 58 Mariners games and is hitting .222 this season. He leads American League catchers with 12 homers.