Lee expecting rest to help bruised right hand

Mariners slugger exits loss to Royals after just two at-bats

Lee expecting rest to help bruised right hand

KANSAS CITY -- Mariners first baseman Dae-Ho Lee, who started as the designated hitter in Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Royals, was replaced by pinch-hitter Franklin Gutierrez in the sixth inning, just one day after Lee missed Friday's game with soreness in his right hand.

The diagnosis for Lee is a hand contusion, which is expected to keep him out until after the All-Star break, according to manager Scott Servais. Lee went 0-for-2 with a strikeout on Saturday.

"He won't play tomorrow. We need to give him off [days] through the break," manager Scott Servais said. "The second at-bat, he looked like he was even hesitant to swing."

Lee had his hand iced in the clubhouse after the game. He said the injury started affecting him about a week earlier, adding it came from the repetition of jamming his hand throughout the course of the season.

"It's just sore. Yesterday was a rest day," Lee said through interpreter D.J. Park. "I jammed it [over time]. That's what happened."

Servais referred to the injury as a bone bruise, but Lee said after the game that it wasn't an issue with the bone, but rather the soft part of his palm. The Mariners confirmed after the game that Lee has a hand contusion.

"It's just sore," Lee said. "[Saturday] morning it felt OK. ... [With] five days' rest, it should be OK."

While Lee said the soreness kept him from being able to even grip a bat the day before, he said he expects to be past it by the end of the All-Star break on Thursday. Lee said he had dealt with similar injuries over his career and that his hand had already started to feel better after his day off on Friday.

The diagnosis and timetable seem to be the best case scenario for the Mariners, who have relied on Lee's bat. Lee had his seven-game hitting streak snapped on Saturday. In that span, he hit .333 with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs.

"He's been very productive for us," Servais said. "He's been one of our better hitters, especially in clutch situations, driving runs in.

"I think he'll be fine. ... Just going to need some down time."

Scott Chasen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.