Cruz exits in 12th inning with tweaked groin

Mariners slugger unsure if he can play in season finale

Cruz exits in 12th inning with tweaked groin

SEATTLE -- Nelson Cruz exited before his scheduled at-bat in the 12th inning of the Mariners' 7-5, 13-inning loss to the A's Saturday night with what Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said was a tweaked right groin.

John Hicks pinch-hit in Cruz's spot with two outs against Oakland's Pat Venditte. Hicks popped out to catcher Stephen Vogt to end the inning.

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Cruz said he left the game as a precaution after he felt his right leg tighten up as he was running to first base in the ninth inning. McClendon said he doesn't expect Cruz will be able to play in Sunday's season finale, but Cruz said he will have a better idea of how he feels tomorrow.

"It was, I guess, the weather, you know? Made it a little bit tight. Hopefully [I play], yeah," Cruz said. "I mean I want to finish, so hopefully I'm ready for tomorrow."

Cruz missed six games in early September with a right quadriceps injury.

The Mariners' slugger went 1-for-5 in Saturday's game, with a single and a run in the third and strikeouts in the first, fifth and sixth innings. He grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the ninth inning.

The 35-year-old has struck out 15 times in his last six games. He sits at a career-high 44 home runs, one home run shy of Baltimore's Chris Davis for the Major League lead.

Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.