Bad hop grounder leaves Justin Smoak with broken nose

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Making his first start in 10 days after dealing with a sore thumb, Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak suffered a broken nose when a Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounder took a bad hop and hit him in the second inning of tonight’s game against the Red Sox.

He was taken to a Seattle hospital for a CT scan.

Smoak hadn’t played since Aug. 2 before returning to the lineup tonight.  In his first at-bat back, he hit a shot to center that would have been a two-run double if not for a nice play from Jacoby Ellsbury.  The injury came before he could get a second at-bat.

If Smoak lands on the DL, the Mariners could have Mike Carp and Adam Kennedy share time at first base.  Wily Mo Pena, who has hit .354 with four homers in 12 games for Triple-A Tacoma since signing with the Mariners, would be an obvious candidate to come up and take Carp’s at-bats at DH.

Chad Kuhl underwent elbow surgery

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Per Todd Tomczyk, the Pirates’ director of sports medicine, starter Chad Kuhl underwent right elbow surgery on Wednesday, MLB.com’s Adam Berry reports. The Pirates should provide more details about the nature of the surgery and Kuhl’s timetable soon.

Kuhl, 26, has been out of action since late June with a strained right forearm. He had been on a throwing program but experienced a setback earlier this month.

This season, Kuhl made 16 starts, putting up a 4.55 ERA with 81 strikeouts and 33 walks across 85 innings.