- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2011

SEATTLE (AP) - The second Chris Gimenez took his first swing, he knew it was a mistake.

Considering that just throwing the ball back to the pitcher caused pain, the idea of Gimenez even playing _ let alone swinging _ seemed a bit crazy.

But the Seattle Mariners were left without other options on Tuesday night, the reason Gimenez played the final six innings with a strained left oblique muscle that landed him on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday. Seattle selected Josh Bard from Triple-A Tacoma to take Gimenez’s roster spot. Bard was in the starting lineup on Wednesday.

“First time I’ve ever been on the DL. First oblique injury I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve never had an issue with anything like that. It’s a little frustrating because I feel like the whole year I’ve been physically, mentally ready to go in case something like this happens and the one day it does happen I’m kind of banged up before it even happens.”

Gimenez was called into action when Miguel Olivo was forced from Tuesday’s game in the top of the fourth inning with leg cramps. He first tweaked the muscle during batting practice and knew almost immediately it would be a rough night.

But he was set on staying in the game and not asking the Mariners to turn to emergency catcher Adam Kennedy.

“He already looked like he wanted to puke at the idea,” Gimenez joked.

So Seattle masked Gimenez’s injury. He swung twice during his first at-bat and was in pain both times, saying, “it felt like somebody stabbed me.”

He was then told to stop swinging and make sure he could at least play defense. Gimenez tried to drop down a two-out bunt in the seventh inning, but eventually struck out looking at a fastball down the middle with two runners on.

At the time, it looked like just another flub by the struggling Mariners offense, until the extent of Gimenez’s injury was known.

“I just got as close as I possibly could to the plate and was like ‘just hit me. Please hit me’” Gimenez said. “I got to 3-2 and had a shot and then he throws it right down the middle and everybody is booing me and I’m like ‘this is great.’”

“I swear there was a reason for it. I would never do that normally.”

The most painful moment for Gimenez came in the ninth inning when he was forced to make a sweeping tag on Jason Heyward as he tagged up and tried to score on a sacrifice fly. Heyward was called out on a close play at the plate after a perfect throw from the outfield by Ichiro Suzuki.

“We tried to mask it as best we could,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “I think he did a good job and we did a good job with it. … He did a great job, blocked the ball well, caught the ball well and really had to dig deep on that throw from Ichiro.”

Bard was with the Mariners during the 2010 season. He didn’t make the club out of spring training this year and was hitting .301 at Tacoma with two homers and 41 RBIs. He could be Seattle’s only healthy catcher as Olivo was getting an MRI on his leg Wednesday morning to see if his problem was more than just cramps.

To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the Mariners designated left-hander Edward Paredes for assignment. Paredes was throwing at Double-A Jackson.

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