Mariners prospect Danny Hultzen diagnosed with left rotator cuff strain

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Mariners prospect left-hander Danny Hultzen was scratched from Thursday’s scheduled start with Triple-A Tacoma after he had trouble getting loose. And now we know why.

The Mariners announced last night that Hultzen was diagnosed with a left rotator cuff strain and inflammation. He’s expected to rest and rehab his shoulder for the next two weeks before being reevaluated.

Hultzen received a five-year, $8.5 million major league contract from the Mariners after he was selected No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. The 23-year-old battled some control problems in Triple-A last year, but he owns a 3.01 ERA over his first 29 pro starts. He was likely in line for a promotion to the majors if he got off to a hot start this year, but any such talk is officially on hold.

Mariners sweep A’s in two-game Japan Series

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The big news, of course, is Ichiro’s retirement. But there was a baseball game that counted today as well and the Mariners took it. Seattle beat Oakland 5-4 in 12 innings to sweep the two-game Japan Series.

Ichiro may have taken an 0-for-4 in his last game, but Ryon Healy and Mitch Haniger homered for the Mariners, staking Seattle to a 3-0 lead after three. The A’s picked up two in the fifth and Seattle added one via a Jay Bruce sac fly to make it 4-2 in the seventh. Oakland tied things back up, ultimately sending it to extras when Khris Davis singled in Matt Chapman in the seventh. Davis would blow a chance to put Oakland ahead in the 11th when he struck out with the bases loaded.

In the twelfth, Domingo Santana, who hit a grand slam in Seattle’s win in the opener on Wednesday, beat out a would-be double-play with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead and, ultimately, winning run.

The rebuilding Mariners are now 2-0 on the young year. The A’s, who won 97 games last year, are 0-2. Viva the smallest of sample sizes.