Sick Marte leaves Mariners short-handed

Sick Marte leaves Mariners short-handed

SEATTLE -- The Mariners' lineup is looking thin with shortstop Ketel Marte still feeling ill.

"It's better than we originally thought," manager Scott Servais said Tuesday. "He had a high fever last night. That's come down a bit today. We've got to get him right. We've got to get him 100 percent, just physically, health-wise."

Shawn O'Malley, the Mariners' backup in almost every position, started at shortstop against the White Sox for the second time in as many nights.

Servais was hopeful Marte would be available late in the game.

"Last night brought up an interesting situation," Servais said. "If Dae-Ho Lee would have gotten on base and been the tying run, who was going to pinch run for him?"

Servais probably would have gone to Seth Smith. Still, it's hard, especially for a team that platoons a fair amount, to be down a position player.

"Any longer than today would not be comfortable," Servais said.

The Mariners don't have a backup specifically at shortstop either. That's not to take away from O'Malley, who made several tough plays Monday, including a leaping backhand catch to rob Jose Abreu of a line drive base hit.

O'Malley has played everywhere but at first base, pitcher and catcher this season.

This month, O'Malley is hitting .316 with a .480 on base percentage. The Mariners tried O'Malley in the leadoff spot Tuesday.

"We have a tendency to strike out to start the game," Servais said. "I don't know if you've noticed that at all lately. And we've tried a number of different ways, and every night it happens I look quickly at Casey Candaele at first base, and he puts his head down."

Worth noting:

• The combination of Felix Hernandez coming of the disabled list on Wednesday and the Mariners having three off-days in the next two weeks, means the starting rotation will shift some. Not only will at least one player likely move to the bullpen to make room for Hernandez, but Servais said he wants to keep Hernandez pitching every fifth day.

"We've got an opportunity that we could skip some guys," Servais said. "Don't have a hard decision yet."

David Rollins got his first Major League win on Monday. He threw a scoreless ninth inning to hold the White Sox to a 3-0 lead and give the Mariners a chance to rally in the bottom of the inning for a 4-3 win.

It was Rollins' second shutout appearance in as many days. On Sunday he didn't allow a hit in the ninth inning of the Mariners' 8-1 loss to the Astros.

"The other night when I pitched against the Astros it was kind of getting my feel back," Rollins said. "Then I go back out last night, and feeding off what I did the night before just helped me stay in the game and get back to the way I was pitching earlier in the season and even down in Triple-A."

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.