ARLINGTON -- After starting just once in the past seven games, Casper Wells was looking forward to getting back in the lineup on Saturday until he hurt his neck doing some pregame work and had to be scratched about 90 minutes before the first pitch.
Eric Thames replaced Wells in right field.
"He took a swing in the batting cage and his neck locked up," manager Eric Wedge said. "It locked up pretty good on him, so we've got Thames in there."
Wedge wasn't happy with his team's defense late in Friday's 9-3 loss to the Rangers and was looking for Wells to bolster that situation. The 25-year-old has played excellent defense in his opportunities this year while hitting .222 in 239 at-bats in 80 games.
Wells is 1-for-9 since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma earlier this month. He played in six of the first nine games since being brought back, but the last three were all as a late-inning defensive replacement.
Millwood's next start remains on hold
ARLINGTON -- Kevin Millwood hasn't tested his arm since his previous start, on Wednesday in Toronto, was cut short by a sore shoulder. The veteran right-hander will be skipping at least one start and could possibly be done for the season, as the year is quickly winding down.
Millwood's next turn in the rotation would have been on Monday, but young right-hander Hector Noesi will start that game against the Orioles, and Erasmo Ramirez is penciled in for Tuesday, as the Mariners want to take a look at their two September callups.
"We're going to give [Millwood] some time," manager Eric Wedge said on Saturday. "We're plugging in Ramirez and Noesi. We'll still need to give [Millwood] some time to see if he's going to pitch again, quite frankly."
Millwood, 37, won his two starts before the outing against the Blue Jays to improve to 6-12 with a 4.25 ERA, but he was pulled after the fifth inning in Toronto despite having thrown just 66 pitches when stiffness in the shoulder began limiting his velocity.
"I'm still standing. I'm still on the right side of the grass," Millwood said on Saturday, "but I haven't really thrown yet. So on that front, there's really no news. We're just waiting to see what happens over the next couple of days, and then we'll make a plan from there."
Felix Hernandez will start on Wednesday. The Mariners haven't announced their rotation beyond that, but there are plenty of options now with the addition of Noesi and Ramirez to the mix.
"That's the good thing," Millwood said. "We have plenty of arms here now, so there's really no rush. There's not a major need for me to get out there soon."
Beavan gets another shot in Texas
ARLINGTON -- On Sunday, right-hander Blake Beavan will get his third shot pitching in Rangers Ballpark, just 10 minutes from Irving, where he grew up, frequently attending games with his family.
Beavan, 23, has seen two very different games so far in Arlington. He lost a rare 1-0 pitching duel to Neftali Feliz in his season debut, on April 10, giving up just the lone run in 6 1/3 innings.
And he was the beneficiary of a huge offensive outpouring in Seattle's 21-8 victory over Texas on May 30, when he won despite giving up five runs on eight hits in six innings.
"That's the funny thing about this game," Beavan said. "You never know who is going to show up to play, who is going to do good or bad, or who is going to throw a perfect game. This game is too hard, it's too simple, it's hard to understand sometimes. You've got a lot of things going into it."
But having attended games at the Ballpark as a kid, he knows how rare that 1-0 game was.
"It's hard to realize the good things from this park sometimes, because you're playing such an overpowering team in a great hitting ballpark here at the same time," he said. "So when you do something like that, it makes it that much sweeter."
Beavan enjoys pitching in Arlington, but he says Sunday's outing doesn't figure to be quite as nerve-wracking as the first time he stepped on the mound against the team that drafted him in the first round in 2007 and traded him to Seattle in 2010.
"Even that first time, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be," he said. "I had butterflies, obviously, because I'd always dreamed of pitching in this ballpark. But I don't think it'll ever be the same feeling, because I did it with another team. The best thing was just getting to pitch at home, which was nice."
Beavan's parents, wife and in-laws will be in attendance on Sunday, along with friends and other family members. He and wife Allison live in Fort Worth, about 30 minutes from Rangers Ballpark.
Double-A Jackson was defeated by Mobile, 1-0, on Friday to end their season with a 3-1 series loss in the Southern League Championships.
Catcher Mike Zunino, Seattle's first-round Draft pick, went 1-for-4 in the finale and finished the postseason hitting .379 in eight games, with three home runs and eight RBIs.
Michael Saunders hit his 15th home run on Friday. With 19 stolen bases already in the bag, he became the first Mariners player with 15 homers and 15 steals in a season since Franklin Gutierrez in 2009.
Going into Saturday's game, Kyle Seager was two steals shy of the 15-15 club, with 13 stolen bases and 18 home runs. The last time Seattle had two 15-15 players was in 2003 with Bret Boone (35 homers, 16 stolen bases) and Mike Cameron (18 homers, 17 steals).