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Notes: Beltre back in lineup

Notes: Beltre back in lineup

SEATTLE -- Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre returned to the starting lineup Saturday evening at Safeco Field after sitting out the last three games with a stiff neck.

He suffered the injury when he made an aggressive slide at second base to break up a potential double play in the eighth inning against the Yankees on Monday night. The play proved important in the final outcome.

"Adrian's [neck] is better," said Mariners manager Mike Hargrove, who also added that his neck had stiffened up. He also implied, jokingly, of course, that he had gotten his pained neck from Beltre.

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The third baseman doubled in the fourth inning and then tied up the contest with a leadoff homer in the eighth.

Beltre entered the contest hitting .321 at home in the second half of the season with seven home runs and 15 RBIs. In the game Beltre injured his neck, he also hit two home runs, one of them of the walk-off variety.

Snelling rests: Chris Snelling, a recent callup from Triple-A, has been filling one of the corner outfield positions since his arrival on an almost daily basis.

And on Saturday, after starting each of the past five games, he rested.

Hargrove said that it was simply that, a day off. The manager said that at Tacoma, Snelling was on a schedule of four days of playing straight and then one day of rest.

The reason the Mariners are being so careful with Snelling is that he spent part of this season recouping from a left shoulder injury. It's just one of a laundry list of disabled list stints the promising 23-year-old Aussie has undergone.

So far with the Mariners this year, Snelling is 8-for-20 with three doubles and five runs scored. He was 2-for-4 on Friday night and those hits extended his hitting streak to seven games.

Meche ready: Saturday starter Gil Meche was originally scheduled to start Tuesday for the Mariners. Instead, he was pushed back to Saturday due to forearm tendinitis in his right arm.

"We just gave him rest," Hargrove said. "Beyond that, there's only so much you can do as far as simulations and stuff like that."

Meche threw a bullpen session Thursday and reported no pain or problems with his forearm.

The time off proved beneficial, as the right-hander held the Red Sox to just five hits and two runs over seven innings of work.

Down on the farm: The Rainiers lost both ends of a doubleheader Friday. Batting in the leadoff spot, Adam Jones was a combined 4-for-8 with a double and a home run in the losses. Emiliano Fruto pitched two scoreless innings of relief in the first game and Jeff Harris pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the second game. ... Ryan Rowland-Smith fanned a season-high seven batters in 4 1/3 innings of relief for Double-A San Antonio. Rowland-Smith has struck out 45 batters in 36 2/3 innings this season. On the offensive side, Jason Bourgeois was 4-for-6 to raise his season average to .351.

On deck: The Mariners conclude their weekend series with the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field. Cha Seung Baek (0-0, 5.40) will make his second start of the season for Seattle, while Boston will counter with Kyle Snyder (3-2, 6.23). The afternoon contest is set to begin at 1:05 PT.

C.J. Bowles is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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