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Mariners’ Marco Gonzales to IL; Mitch Haniger out of lineup again

Marco Gonzales has a 5.40 ERA in five starts for the Mariners this season. (Getty)

April was a strong month for the Seattle Mariners, but it’s ending on an ominous note for the team.

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The Mariners placed No. 1 starting pitcher Marco Gonzales on the 10-day injured list with a left forearm strain, with right-handed reliever Domingo Tapia being called up from the alternate site to take his place on the roster.

That’s not all of the bad news for Seattle, either. Right fielder and leadoff hitter Mitch Haniger remained out of the lineup for a second straight day ahead of Thursday’s series finale in Houston against the Astros.

The Astros won the first three games of the series but Seattle prevailed 1-0 Thursday to avoid a four-game sweep. After losing two games in a row just once in the season coming into the series in Houston, the M’s (14-12) snapped a four-game losing streak with Thursday’s win.

Gonzales’ injury will require him to miss a few starts, according to manager Scott Servais. He last pitched Tuesday against the Astros, allowing two runs on six innings. He has a 5.40 ERA and 1.341 WHIP in five starts this season, though his last three outings have been much better than his first two.

Walks have been an issue for the veteran left-hander this year, as he has issued at least one free pass in each start, including three each in his first and most recent outing. He walked just seven batters in 11 starts in 2020 but has already walked 11 this year.

With Haniger, the Mariners are being cautious after he missed a year and a half of action in 2019 and 2020 due to various injuries. He had an awkward collision with the outfield wall Monday in Houston but Servais said fatigue was the reason for him staying out of the lineup.

The Mariners’ lineup was thin Thursday not just because of Haniger’s absence. Reigning American League Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis also sat, which was a planned day off after he spent the first two weeks of the season on the IL with a knee bruise.

Tapia, 29, pitched five games in 2020 as a rookie for Boston, allowing one run in 4 1/3 innings. He was a waiver claim by the Mariners last October and threw two scoreless innings for Seattle in spring training before being sidelined by injury.

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