Smoak is dealing with a sore quad muscle in his left leg and hasn't started three of the Mariners' last four games, though he has pinch-hit or come in for defense in every game leading up to Sunday, and remains the only Seattle player to have appeared in every game this season.
"The problem is when [Smoak] first comes out of the box, you want to get out of the box and that's when it grabs you," McClendon said. "I'm just trying to get to the point where it quiets down and we can put it behind us. And especially for a guy who is a pretty good defensive guy, you don't want it nagging him on defense. Hopefully in the next day or two, he'll feel better."
Saunders missed his second straight game Sunday after feeling discomfort in his right shoulder while swinging the bat on Friday, when he was removed from the game in the third inning. Because it's the same shoulder in which he had labrum surgery in 2008 and then dislocated last year when he ran into the wall at Safeco Field, he had the shoulder examined by the Rays' team doctor Saturday. But no structural damage was found and Saunders believes he's close to returning.
"Right now, we're aiming for another day or so, but it's not going to be any significant length of time, and I'm already feeling a little bit better today," Saunders said.