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Mariners' Saunders, Thames ailing after collison

The SportsXchange

The Mariners may be in the market for a couple of outfielders Saturday in Chicago.

With two on and one out in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game, center fielder Michael Saunders and right fielder Eric Thames collided in pursuit of a warning-track fly ball off the bat of Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko.

Thames caught the ball but, in the collision a couple of feet in front of the fence, the ball popped free. Konerko was credited with a game-winning RBI double and the White Sox with a 9-8 win. The Mariners were left with a pair of bruised outfielders.

It's not clear if either will be able to play Saturday.

"They hit each other pretty good," manager Eric Wedge said. "We're having them checked out."

The Mariners have options in the short term, including outfielder Casper Wells and infielder/outfielder Chone Figgins. And it's likely that in a pinch, infielder Munenori Kawasaki could grab a glove and play if needed.

But if either man is going to be out more than a day or two, the Mariners might have to call up center fielder Franklin Gutierrez from Class AAA Tacoma, where he is on an injury rehabilitation assignment as he battles back from a concussion.

Even though the Mariners lost the game, after rallying from five runs down in the ninth with a six-run inning, Wedge liked what he saw from his team, which had an eight-game winning streak snapped. In particular he liked the defense that Saunders and Thames played.

"It says so much to me the way they go after the ball so hard," Wedge said. "This says a lot about our team."
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