Montero returns to Mariners lineup

Montero returns to Mariners lineup

SEATTLE -- Mariners rookie Jesus Montero was back in the lineup for Friday's series opener against the Rangers after missing the previous three games with a minor concussion.

Montero took advantage of the four-day All-Star break to clear his head, both from the concussion and the first half of his first full season in the Majors.

"We went up to Mt. Rainier," said the 22-year-old Venezuelan. "That's the first time I've seen that much snow. It was beautiful."

Montero was the designated hitter on Friday. The Mariners are hoping to get him going again after a rough stretch during which he's had just one RBI since June 1. He was on an 0-for-20 stretch when he got hit in the mask with a hard foul ball and had to leave the game in the fifth inning on July 4.

He finished the first half hitting .245 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs and said he's focused on having a strong second half, particularly now that he's healthy.

"Everything feels good now," Montero said. "Every time you get hit in the head, it's not easy because I've been hit in the head before. I've had a lot of concussions. That was the hardest one. But a hit in the head isn't easy for anybody. Anyone can get dizzy."