Branyan sits due to back stiffness

Branyan sits due to back stiffness

SEATTLE -- First baseman Russell Branyan was not in the Mariners lineup on Sunday afternoon because of back stiffness that popped up on him while sliding into home plate against the Tigers on Friday night.

"We're hoping [to let him rest] today and tomorrow [an off-day] and he'll be back on Tuesday," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said on Sunday. "It seems to be improving, but it was still a little stiff today."

For the second straight game, Wakamatsu shifted Jose Lopez from second base to first base to take Branyan's place and started Ronny Cedeno at second. Wakamatsu said he consulted Lopez about the move.

"We talked about doing whatever it takes to help us win ballgames, and he's been great," Wakamatsu said.

Doug Miller is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.