ARLINGTON -- A day after taking a hard line drive off his pitching arm and being knocked out of the game, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was back in good spirits Sunday with the temporary cast off his arm.
The 25-year-old right-hander sustained a bruise on his forearm, but no fractures. He figures to be ready to make his next start -- given that start isn't scheduled until next season anyway.
Rangers third baseman Michael Young's hard shot off his right forearm ended Hernandez's final start of 2011 prematurely, his 3 1/3 innings the shortest outing of his season.
"He's OK. It'll be fine once he gets a little time," manager Eric Wedge said. "It's not broken, so that's the most important thing."
The Mariners were still without utility infielder Luis Rodriguez on Sunday, a gash on his right hand still healing after getting spiked on Thursday in Minnesota. That left rookie Kyle Seager as the only available shortstop for the third straight day, with starter Brendan Ryan back home in Seattle and likely done for the season with a sore neck.
"I was hoping to get Luis back in there, but he's still a day away probably," said Wedge.
The Mariners did get Justin Smoak back in the lineup Sunday at first base after four games of being limited to designated-hitter duties as he was coming back from a strained groin muscle.
Lessons learned, Wedge wants to finish strong
ARLINGTON -- A day after unloading on his team for its sloppy play in a 7-3 loss to the Rangers, Mariners manager Eric Wedge said on Sunday that game was a learning experience for his young crew.
A brutal fourth inning Saturday -- with several wild throws and poor defensive decisions leading to six runs for the Rangers -- sent alarm bells off for a manager looking for his team to finish strong.
He met with many of his players individually after speaking to the entire group after the game, and said prior to Sunday's series finale with Texas that one breakdown shouldn't define a season or how his players are judged after playing well defensively for most of the year.
"We're all right," said the first-year Seattle skipper. "We had to use that as a moment, it's a half-inning that everybody should learn from. ... You have to do everything you can to not let the game run over you like that.
"It's nothing more, nothing less than that."
Rookie left fielder Mike Carp said the players talked to each other on the bus back to the team hotel Saturday evening and vowed to put that game behind them and finish strong.
"We played sloppy yesterday. It was just one of those days, everything fell apart," Carp said. "But we all talked about it and came back fired up. We've got four games left. It's not going to be that hard to focus for four games.
"That was just a lack of focus on everybody's part. It was unfortunate, but a good learning experience, too. We talked about it and we've got a little fire going the next couple days."
Veteran catcher Miguel Olivo said Wedge was right to let the team know that sort of play was unacceptable.
"It would [tick] anybody off," Olivo said. "We need to play like big league players. We need to keep hustling like baseball players. I agree with him. He needed to step up and jump somebody or whatever. That's the way it is."
Carp said the message was delivered in the right way.
"He got on us a little bit, but it was very motivational and very good for us," said Carp. "It was all of us, not any individual thing. We've got to do better as a team. We sped things up when you need to slow things down. When you speed things up in this game, it makes for a circus, and that's exactly what happened."