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Smoak close to rejoining Mariners; Guti progressing

Smoak close to rejoining Mariners; Guti progressing

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Smoak close to rejoining Mariners; Guti progressing

OAKLAND -- Justin Smoak's push to return to the Mariners continues to progress.

One day after alluding to the possibility of Smoak joining the Mariners in Anaheim from a Triple-A rehab stint for the second half of the club's road trip starting Monday, manager Eric Wedge said his first baseman made strides Saturday toward making that a reality.

Franklin Gutierrez's return, meanwhile, is scheduled to take longer.

"Smoaky's doing really good and Gut is getting better. We'll touch base with him after the game today and decide if we'll bring him right away or give him some more time," Wedge said.

Smoak, who is recovering from a right oblique strain, went 1-for-4 with Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday in the Rainiers' 6-1 loss to Sacramento, while Gutierrez went 0-for-4 as the team's right fielder.

Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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