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Mariners, Harang optimistic he'll make next start

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CLEVELAND -- Veteran right-hander Aaron Harang took it easy on Friday, a day after being scratched from his scheduled start against the Yankees due to lower back stiffness. But the 35-year-old remains hopeful that he'll be fine to pitch in his next scheduled start Tuesday in Anaheim.

"He says he feels better today," manager Eric Wedge said. "As of right now, we've still got him slotted for Tuesday. He saw a chiropractor today and says he feels a little better. So ideally, he can play catch tomorrow and maybe throw a light 'pen on Sunday and be ready for Tuesday."

Harang was acquired by trade from the Rockies on April 12 and has gone 1-4 with a 7.30 ERA in five starts. He struggled in his initial outings after not pitching for several weeks, but had put together back-to-back quality starts against the Orioles and Pirates before being sidelined by his back problem.

Harang missed two months with a back issue in 2010 while with the Reds, but he doesn't believe the problem is as serious this time.

If Harang isn't able to start on Tuesday, it's likely he'd be put on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to his last start, which would allow the team to recall Hector Noesi from Triple-A Tacoma to take his spot.

Noesi was optioned to Tacoma on Friday, a day after getting the spot start in Harang's place. A player has to stay in the Minors for at least 10 days after being optioned, unless there is an injury on the Major League roster that requires another player to go on the disabled list.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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