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Seager earns break as DH for Royals opener

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KANSAS CITY -- After 37 straight starts at the hot corner, Kyle Seager finally received a respite on Friday night.

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon employed his third baseman as the designated hitter for the series opener with the Royals.

McClendon said his intentions were to: "Get [Seager] off his legs a little bit. We've been grinding him pretty good -- just freshen him up a little bit."

Utility man Willie Bloomquist started at third base for the fifth time this season. Bloomquist's last starts at third came on May 9-10 -- also against Kansas City -- when Seager sat out a pair of games with flu-like symptoms.

McClendon recognized the importance of resting everyday starters like Seager, particularly in Seattle's arduous stretch of 35 games in 36 days.

"I need to be more conscious of that," McClendon said. "[Seager's] swung the bat pretty well for us, but we've got to rest him whenever we can, so this is one way to do it."

Jackson Alexander 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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