ATLANTA -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre was scratched from the starting lineup with a bruised left index finger just prior to the first pitch of the Mariners' Saturday night game with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
The ailment was actually the aggravation of an old injury.
"He did this last week -- he hurt his hand a little bit and really wanted to play and we let him play and he got through it," manager Jim Riggleman said after Saturday night's 5-4 loss.
"But it reoccurred taking a ground ball and it was very painful. We waited right up until 10 minutes before the ballgame to finalize that decision."
Beltre, who was 2-for-4 with three RBIs in the Mariners' 10-2 win over Atlanta on Friday night, is riding a three-game hitting streak, during which he is 7-for-13. He leads the team in homers with 14 -- the only Mariners player in double digits.
His absence in the lineup was profound on Saturday, as Raul Ibanez, who moved into Beltre's cleanup spot in the batting order, and Miguel Cairo, who replaced him in the field, combined to go 0-for-7, with a strikeout apiece.
Riggleman didn't discuss whether Beltre, who is day-to-day, would play in the rubber game of the series on Sunday afternoon, but his history against Atlanta starter Tim Hudson may point toward another day to rest the finger: He is 1-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.