Morse expected to return to lineup soon

Morse expected to return to lineup soon

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right fielder Michael Morse missed his fifth straight game on Sunday with a strained quadriceps, but Mariners manager Eric Wedge hopes to have his leading home run hitter back in the lineup in the next few days.

"I'm hoping to get him at first base sometime early to midweek here," Wedge said prior to Sunday's series finale with the Twins. "We'll start out there first and then get him back to the outfield. He'll hit today and we'll see how that works out and have him move around a little more and see how the leg feels."

With first baseman Justin Smoak going on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique injury, the Mariners can use Morse to split time with Kendrys Morales at first.

Morales started the last seven games at first before moving back to designated hitter on Sunday as Alex Liddi got the start at first. The Mariners have been cautious with Morales in the field after he missed all of 2011 with a fractured lower left leg, but he's held up well this past week.

"We'll DH him today to get him off his feet a little bit," Wedge said. "But I think he's done a nice job over there. From being very sporadic to every day, I think we've got to pull him back every now and then."

Greg Johns is a reporter for 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.