Seattle Mariners

Mariners forced again to shift gears when an injury sidelines a starting pitcher

Lefty Andrew Albers drew a spot start Saturday night when an injury sidelined Andrew Moore.
Lefty Andrew Albers drew a spot start Saturday night when an injury sidelined Andrew Moore. AP

One more time — one final time? — an injury forced the Mariners to adjust their rotation.

Left-hander Andrew Albers drew a spot start Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels in the season’s next-to-last game when neck spasms sidelined right-hander Andrew Moore.

"On Friday, when Andrew Moore came in," manager Scott Servais said, "his neck was really tight. Spasms. You were hoping it would calm down overnight and he’d come in today and be OK.

"Unfortunately, he’s not OK. He doesn’t have any range of motion in his neck. He’s not feeling real good."

In stepped Albers, who made five starts after arriving in an Aug. 12 cash transaction from Atlanta before shifting to long relief when James Paxton and Felix Hernandez returned in mid-September from the disabled list.

Albers, 31, is 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA. His last start was Sept. 9, when he pitched six shutout innings against the Angels in an 8-1 victory at Safeco Field.

"He’s a veteran," Servais said. "He’s been around. He said, `I got it.’ He’s looking at their lineup. He’ll adjust his program today and be ready to go."

The Mariners, because of injuries, matched a MLB record this season by using 40 different pitchers and tied a franchise record by using 17 different starting pitchers.

"If you can joke about this stuff," Servais said, "this is how the season went. There have been a number of starting pitchers who have gone down. This one is the spur of the moment.

"Fortunately, we have extra guys here in September. We have guys who are stretched out like Albers."

Unless Moore, 23, recovers in time to pitch Sunday in relief of Paxton, the injury brings his rookie season to a close at 1-5 with a 5.34 ERA in 11 games, including nine starts.

Moore began the season at Double-A Arkansas, advanced to Triple-A Tacoma in early May and reach the big leagues for the first time for a June 22 start against Detroit at Safeco Field.

He spent the final three-plus months shuttling between the Mariners and Tacoma.

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners