The Seattle Mariners are running out of healthy outfielders. To the rescue — Ichiro?

Ben Gamel will miss opening day, the Mariners said Monday, because of a strained oblique muscle that's expected to sideline him four to six weeks.

That could open a spot for Ichiro Suzuki, and a deal with the Mariners might be close.

Suzuki was the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year for Seattle in 2001 and remained a fan favorite until he was traded away in 2012. The 44-year-old Suzuki spent the past four seasons in Miami, batting .255 last year and starting 23 times in the outfield.

Gamel hit .275 with 11 home runs and 59 RBIs in 134 games last year during his first full season in the majors.

The Mariners were hopeful Gamel would miss only a few days, but an MRI showed a more extensive problem. He first felt the injury after batting practice late last week.

Gamel joined a growing list of banged-up Mariners. Seattle has already seen first baseman Ryon Healy (hand), outfielder Mitch Haniger (hand) and pitcher Felix Hernandez (bruised forearm) slowed by injuries during spring training.

Outfielder Guillermo Heredia is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, leaving Seattle thin at the position.


Houston ace Dallas Keuchel was pulled in the second inning after giving up four hits. Lance McCullers worked 2 2/3 innings in relief, allowing a hit and walking two. Miami starter Dillon Peters gave up one run in 1 1/3 innings.


Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson worked three innings and gave up two hits, including a home run by Rhys Hoskins. Mark Leiter Jr. threw three clean innings in relief for Philadelphia, striking out a pair.


Atlanta starter Brandon McCarthy went 3 2/3 innings and the lone run he permitted came on a homer by Starling Marte. Danny Santana homered and had four hits for Atlanta. Chad Kuhl had a shaky start for Pittsburgh, giving up five hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings.


Tanner Roark pitched four shutout innings for Washington, allowing one hit. Joaquin Benoit followed and had a rough outing, giving up two doubles and a single in one inning. Andrew Stevenson, a second-round pick by the Nationals in 2015 out of LSU, homered off starter Luke Weaver, who permitted three hits over three innings and struck out four.


New York starter Matt Harvey threw three shutout innings, allowing two hits. Brandon Nimmo hit a leadoff home run, his second of the spring. Detroit starter Mike Fiers worked 2 1/3 innings, giving up two runs and two hits. Derek Norris doubled and singled, raising his batting average this spring to .556.

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