SD@SEA: Morse leaves with injury after play at plate

MINNEAPOLIS -- After staying behind in Seattle to treat a strained right quadriceps muscle while the Mariners played a pair of games in San Diego, right fielder Michael Morse rejoined the club on Friday at Target Field in time for a three-game set with the Twins.

Morse isn't ready to play just yet, however. He may not be available until the club returns to Seattle for a 10-game homestand that opens Monday.

"He's going to take some batting practice and we'll see how he feels and moves around," manager Eric Wedge said prior to Friday's game. "He feels better, he's just not ready to be in there yet. He's here to work.

"I don't know if we'll have him available here or not. We'll just take it day to day and potentially have him available to pinch-hit."

Morse feels he's close, however, and he will be able to go once he can get up to speed.

"It's better," Morse said. "I can hit. I can do everything. The one thing I feel is running. It's just sore, a little tight. It's not a pulled feeling anymore. If it was up to me, I'd give it one or two more days and I'll be fine."

Morse, who leads the team with 11 home runs, injured the leg while trying to score from first on a double by Michael Saunders in the fourth inning of Tuesday's 6-1 loss to the Padres at Safeco Field.

"To me, it's such a fluke thing," said the 6-foot-5, 245-pounder. "I felt so good. I've taken really good care of my legs and I felt great in the outfield. I felt really good running, especially right there I felt great. I just tried to push it a little too much.

"I compare it to like driving a car and red-lining a car. You just don't do that. I tried to run a little faster and I'm not fast, so I don't know what I was doing."

Morse, 31, spent Wednesday and Thursday getting treatment at Safeco Field and watching his teammates split a pair in San Diego.

"I was actually in the clubhouse, and it was weird because no one else was in there and I was just doing rehab stuff," Morse said. "Every time we started getting on a roll, I didn't move. That first game was frustrating, but [Thursday] was a nice game to watch."

Morse hit off a tee while in Seattle and said everything felt fine swinging the bat. Now he just needs to be able to run full speed. He's hitting .254 with 21 RBIs in 45 games.

Bonderman set for return to Majors in Sunday's start

MINNEAPOLIS -- Veteran right-hander Jeremy Bonderman will be recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to start for the Mariners on Sunday against the Twins, manager Eric Wedge said Friday.

Bonderman, 30, hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2010, when he went 8-10 with a 5.53 ERA for the Tigers. He's since undergone shoulder and elbow surgeries and was out of baseball for two years before signing a Minor League deal with the Mariners this offseason.

The native of Kennewick, Wash., went 2-4 with a 4.52 ERA in 11 starts for Tacoma, and he will take the spot that opened up when rookie Brandon Maurer was sent down earlier this week.

"He's been pretty consistent down there," Wedge said. "It's the progression of what we saw this spring. He's kept the ball on the ground, he's been aggressive, his arm has been pretty strong, he's using all his pitches. He has a great deal of experience and has worked hard to get here, so we'll give him an opportunity on Sunday."

The Mariners are looking for better results from the back end of their rotation and Bonderman has an opt-out in his contract that would allow him to become a free agent if he wasn't recalled by June 1, so the timing was right to give him a shot.

Wedge is looking for one thing from the eight-year veteran, who went 67-77 with a 4.89 ERA in 207 games with the Tigers from 2003-10 and helped Detroit reach the World Series in '06.

"Give us a chance to win the ballgame," Wedge said. "He's been here and done it before. If you look at how hard he's worked to get back here, I'm sure he'll be ready to go on Sunday."

Smoak sits out again with oblique injury

SEA@CLE: Mariners regain lead with Smoak's solo jack

MINNEAPOLIS -- Justin Smoak remained sidelined for a sixth straight game on Friday as Seattle opened a series with the Twins, with Kendrys Morales again at first base.

Smoak hasn't started a game since feeling the oblique muscle in his right side tighten up on a checked swing last Saturday in Seattle. He did have one pinch-hit appearance Thursday in San Diego while batting right-handed, but he remains unable to fully swing left-handed, and thus wasn't in the lineup against right-hander Mike Pelfrey on Friday.

The Mariners don't face a lefty until Sunday's series finale against the Twins when Scott Diamond will be on the mound, so that's the likeliest time for him to return.

"I took batting practice today right-handed and it felt better than the other day, but I still haven't done very much left-handed," Smoak said. "So it's day by day with that and see how that goes. Right-handed, it felt a little better. But it's one of those things where I'm kind of scared to let it go right now. I've had it before, so I don't want to overdo it."

Smoak missed nearly a month with a strained oblique in 2009 while in Double-A ball in the Rangers organization, so he's admittedly being more cautious this time.

"It's just one of those things where it feels fine and I can do whatever I want to do," Smoak said. "But every once in a while swinging left-handed off the tee, I'll feel it a little bit. So I don't want to push it. I'd rather be out a week than a month. So we're just trying to take it day by day to see how it feels."

Worth noting

• Infielder Robert Andino cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Tacoma. The veteran utility man was designated for assignment on May 24 when the Mariners added catcher Jesus Sucre to their roster. He's scheduled to join the Rainiers on Saturday when they host Sacramento at Cheney Stadium.

• Dustin Ackley went 2-for-5 with a double and run scored on Thursday, as he continued to hit well for Tacoma. Ackley has hit .467 (7-for-15) in three games since being sent down.

• Franklin Gutierrez was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs for Tacoma as he continued his rehab stint while recovering from a strained hamstring. Gutierrez is batting .228 in 13 games and played the whole game in center field on Thursday in a 10-8 loss at Colorado Springs.