SEATTLE -- Nick Franklin returned to the Mariners' starting lineup on Sunday for the first time since gashing his knee in a home-plate collision against Oakland on Tuesday. He saw his first action as a pinch-hitter in Saturday's 5-1 loss to the Angels.
"It's a little sore, but nothing to keep me from staying in the game," Franklin said. "I didn't really know what it meant, but I knew I was ready and when the time came I was going to be ready to contribute. But I didn't necessarily think it would mean I played today."
Franklin's injury required five stitches, and the collision broke the big toe of A's catcher Derek Norris. Manager Eric Wedge said that Franklin was able to rehab his knee quickly, and he credited the team's trainers with getting him in game shape.
"He was fine; they really worked him out good before the game yesterday, which was the first step for us to make sure he was even available to pinch-hit," Wedge said. "Then when I was told he was available to pinch-hit, run and even play defense, that's when I knew I could go to him earlier, like we did in the seventh inning."
Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.