Iwakuma OK after discomfort causes early exit

Iwakuma OK after discomfort causes early exit

SEATTLE -- Hisashi Iwakuma won't have another start this season unless the Mariners sneak into the playoffs, but manager Lloyd McClendon said that the veteran right-hander was feeling fine on Saturday after being removed from Friday's 4-3 victory over the Angels in the seventh inning after feeling some discomfort in his right lat muscle.

McClendon and trainer Rob Nodine hurried to the mound after seeing Iwakuma reach for his side after throwing his 80th pitch and immediately took him out of the game with a two-run lead. The Mariners hung on to give Iwakuma his career-best 15th win of the season, and he reported feeling OK on Saturday.

"He just said he felt a little stretch, but he was fine," McClendon said prior to Saturday's game with the Angels. "The doctors checked him out, and there's no issues at all. I talked to him today. I don't know if he understood what I said, but he was smiling, so I'm pretty sure everything is OK."

Will Iwakuma be ready to pitch again in five days?

"I hope so," McClendon said with a smile, knowing that such a scenario would require the Mariners to be playing in the American League Division Series.

Iwakuma finished the regular season 15-9 with a 3.52 ERA in 179 innings over 28 starts after missing Spring Training and the first month of the season with a strained finger tendon.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.