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Gutierrez reports to Tacoma for second rehab stint

Gutierrez reports to Tacoma for second rehab stint

Gutierrez reports to Tacoma for second rehab stint

SEATTLE -- Outfielder Franklin Gutierrez reported to Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday to begin his second Minor League rehab stint as he recovers from a strained hamstring that has sidelined him since April 23.

Gutierrez was slotted in at designated hitter in Wednesday night's Tacoma game, but will be used in right and center field going forward as the Mariners attempt to get him back to the Major League club.

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First baseman Justin Smoak took batting practice with the Mariners for a second day in a row on Wednesday and is expected to join the Rainiers on Thursday as he begins his own rehab stint while returning from a strained oblique muscle.

"I'm excited to get Smoak and Gutierrez out," manager Eric Wedge said. "Not having Gutierrez this year has really been a huge hit for us. It really changed everything. You talk about your lineup and what he means in the field, just everything really worked together. We saw in Spring Training when he was in there, it all came together nicely. So I'm hoping we can get both those guys back."

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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