Reliever Dan Altavilla returned Sunday to the Mariners as the latest move in their ever-changing bullpen mix.
The Mariners recalled Altavilla from Triple-A Tacoma prior to their series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre after placing right-hander Ryan Weber on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained biceps muscle.
Weber suffered the injury Saturday in the fourth inning after being promoted earlier in the day from Tacoma to patch the latest hole in the club’s injury-depleted rotation.
This is Altavilla’s third big-league tour of the season. He opened the season on the Mariners’ roster but was optioned April 21 to Tacoma. He was recalled May 6 and optioned again on May 10.
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Because Altavilla, 24, is replacing a player on the disabled list, he is not subject to the normal 10-day minimum span before an optioned player can be recalled. He is 1-1 with a 6.97 ERA this season in 12 big-league games.
Weber becomes the club’s eighth pitcher currently on the disabled list. He was 5-0 with an 0.85 ERA in six games at Tacoma prior to his promotion. He gained a no-decision Saturday after allowing one run in 3 2/3 innings against the Blue Jays.
"The pitch before I came out of the game," he said, "I felt like I got stabbed right in my biceps. I thought it was a cramp. There were two outs. I thought I could get this guy out, go back to the dugout, sit down and go back out there.
"I went to throw that next pitch and the same feeling…for that to happen in my first outing, it’s just really frustrating."
The Mariners are expected to make another roster move prior to Monday’s series opener against Oakland at Safeco Field by activating veteran reliever Steve Cishek from the disabled list.
Cishek pitched a scoreless inning Saturday for Tacoma as part of his latest rehab assignment in his recovery from October surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. He was 4-6 with 25 saves and a 2.81 ERA last season in 62 games.
MACHI TO TACOMA
Veteran reliever Jean Machi is remaining in the organization after being designated for assignment Saturday to clear roster space for right-handed pitcher Ryan Weber.
The Mariners sent Machi, 35, to Tacoma on an outright assignment Sunday after he cleared waivers.
Machi was 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA (one run in 7 2/3 innings) over five appearances with the Mariners. He opened the season at Tacoma, where he was 1-0 with four saves while not allowing a run in eight innings over eight outings.
HONORARY BAT GIRL
Vanessa Walsh of Puyallup will be recognized Monday as the Mariners’ winner in MLB’s annual Honorary Bat Girl Contest, which recognizes fans affected by breast cancer who have demonstrated a commitment to battling the disease.
Walsh is a widow with three children who was diagnosed in 2014 with stage 4 triple negative breast cancer, which is now in remission.
"When you’re told you’ve got three years to live," she said, "and you’re only in your 30s and you’ve got little kids, there were some mental things I had to go through before I said, ‘Nope. That’s not what I’m going to do.’"
She will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and serve as the club’s honorary bat girl for Monday’s game against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field.
The program typically recognizes recipients on Mother’s Day, but the Mariners played Sunday in Toronto.
Three things to note heading into Monday’s pitching matchup between right-hander Yovani Gallardo and Oakland left-hander Sean Manaea:
***Gallardo had never beaten the Athletics before April 23, when he gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings in an 11-1 victory in Oakland. Overall, he is 1-5 with a 4.69 ERA in seven career starts. Manaea is 3-0 and 3.91 in four starts against the Mariners.
***Yonder Alonso is 10-for-28 in his career against Gallardo, while Trevor Plouffe is 4-for-14 with two homers. Stephen Vogt is 4-for-9 with two doubles and a homer.
***Guillermo Heredia is 4-for-6 in his career against Manaea, while Nelson Cruz is 3-for-6 with a homer. It’s a different story with left-handed hitters: Robinson Cano is 1-for-12, and Kyle Seager is 2-for-10.
Hi-A Modesto right-hander Nick Neidert allowed just one run and three hits over six innings while getting 10 strikeouts Saturday in a 2-1 victory at Lake Elsinore (Padres).
Neidert, 20, improved to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.88. He was the Mariners’ top pick in the 2015 MLB Draft and entered the season ranked No. 6 on the TNT Top 10 list of the organization’s prospects.
It was 21 years ago Monday — May 15, 1996 — that the Mariners, one day after suffering a no-hit loss to Dwight Gooden, pounded out 19 hits in a 10-5 victory at Yankee Stadium.
The Mariners erased a 4-0 deficit after two innings against lefty Jimmy Key. Eight different players had more than one hit.
The Mariners and Athletics open a three-game series at 7:10 p.m. Monday at Safeco Field when right-hander Yovani Gallardo (1-3 with a 4.58 ERA) opposes Oakland left-hander Sean Manaea (1-2, 5.18).
The game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest and heard on 710 ESPN and the Mariners Radio Network, including mariners.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv).
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners