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PEORIA, Ariz. — During a spring training filled with small, nagging injuries, the Seattle Mariners believe they caught a fortunate break after Felix Hernandez took a line drive off his right arm.

Hernandez said Tuesday he is still very sore after a liner off the bat of the Chicago CubsVictor Caratini hit Hernandez in the right forearm. The injury happened in Hernandez’s first spring training start a day earlier.

X-rays were negative, but Hernandez still had enough swelling in the elbow area after he arrived in the Mariners clubhouse Tuesday morning that he couldn’t fully straighten his arm.

There was initial concern Hernandez had suffered a significant injury. Hernandez went down to a knee, hopped up and walked around in obvious pain. He headed to the dugout with a trainer holding his arm.

The ball hit Hernandez on a tattoo signifying his All-Star Game selection in 2013.

“That hurt real bad. I can’t explain how bad it was. I didn’t feel anything like that before,” Hernandez said.

“I finished the pitch and I saw the ball coming and I said ‘Oh my God.’ And then my brother told me yesterday, ‘Why didn’t you pick the ball up and throw it to first?”’

The ball caught Hernandez just below his right elbow, hitting directly on a star tattoo with ’13’ on the inside, signifying his All-Star Game selection in 2013.

Hernandez was still unable to fully straighten his right arm when he arrived in the clubhouse Tuesday morning because of the swelling in the area around his elbow.

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Slumping New York Yankees shake up lineup against Atlanta Braves

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NEW YORK — New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone made three changes to the starting lineup of his slumping team against Atlanta on Tuesday night, inserting first baseman Mike Ford and left fielder Mike Tauchman and giving Brett Gardner his second start this season in center field.

DJ LeMahieu moved back to second base from first, and center fielder Aaron Hicks, left fielder Clint Frazier and second baseman Rougned Odor moved to the bench.

New York has lost five straight games, dropping to 5-10 for its worst start since 1997.

The switch-hitting Hicks was batting .160, including 3 for 32 vs. right-handers, Frazier was hitting .167 with no RBI and Odor was batting .125.

Ford was to make his season debut. He was recalled from the alternate training site and took the roster spot of Jay Bruce, who hit .118 and retired Sunday.

Jameson Taillon started for the Yankees, who were starting a stretch of games on 13 consecutive days. Charlie Morton started for Atlanta.

Boone said he might give Hicks another day off Wednesday.

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Infielder Neil Walker retires after 12 MLB seasons

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Veteran infielder Neil Walker announced his retirement Tuesday after 12 major league seasons.

Born in Pittsburgh, he played his first seven seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates before playing for the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies over his final five seasons.

Walker, 35, made his announcement on Twitter, writing, “thank you to everyone that helped me in my journey to live out my childhood dream of being a Major Leaguer, I loved & cherished every day.”

The Pirates selected Walker with the 11th-overall pick of the 2004 draft and he went on to hit 93 home runs with 418 RBIs while slashing .272/.338/.431 in 836 games. His best major league season came in 2014 when he hit .271 and set career bests with 23 home runs and 76 RBIs, earning a Silver Slugger award. His 23 home runs broke Bill Mazeroski’s franchise record for home runs in a season by a second baseman.

Walker played for the Phillies during the 2020 pandemic shortened season, appearing in 18 games.

Overall, Walker finishes his major league career with 149 home runs and 609 RBIs and a slash line of .267/.338/.426.



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Mookie Betts out of Los Angeles Dodgers lineup after getting hit on forearm, but not expected to miss time

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SEATTLE — Mookie Betts was out of the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup on Tuesday after getting hit on the right forearm a night earlier, but manager Dave Roberts doesn’t expect it to be a long-term issue.

Roberts said X-rays on Betts’ arm were negative after the former MVP took a fastball from Seattle closer Rafael Montero off the inside of his right forearm in the ninth inning of Monday’s 4-3 Mariners victory. Betts remained in the game after getting hit.

Roberts said Betts was receiving treatment and that he was hoping to avoid using him in Tuesday’s game with the Dodgers having a day off on Wednesday before opening a four-game series with division rival San Diego on Thursday at Dodger Stadium.

“I was hoping that it would be something soft tissue, as opposed to you know the wrist or the elbow or something like that,” Roberts said. “I guess best case scenario. There was an exhale once he wanted to stay in there. So that’s part of it, the soreness, but I think that we dodged a bullet there.”

Betts is hitting .292 early in the season and already had one of the signature defensive moments of the season with his game-ending catch in the ninth inning last Saturday in a win over San Diego.

Chris Taylor started in center field for the Dodgers.

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