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Julio Rodriguez exits Thursday’s game early with lower back tightness

The Mariners’ star rookie had just returned to the lineup after missing a few games due to back tightness

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics
Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners looks to the dugout during the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on September 20, 2022 in Oakland, California.
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Update: The Mariners say Rodriguez left the game with lower back tightness. He’s likely to go the injured list, which is unfortunate for Seattle with the MLB playoff race in full swing.

Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez was back in the team’s lineup on Wednesday after three games due to back tightness. But just one day later, he seems to be dealing with another ailment. He departed Thursday’s game against the Athletics in the bottom of the first inning.

Why J-Rod left the game is currently unclear, but what is evident is that the move did not make the star rookie very happy.

Rodriguez has missed a handful of games since the All-Star break due to separate injuries. He sat out four games in late July with wrist soreness and then had to be placed on the injured list a few days later after getting hit by a pitch on his wrist. He returned on Aug. 12 and remained healthy before taking some time recently to rest his back.

Missing Rodriguez for any period of time would be incredibly detrimental to the Mariners’ playoff chances. They currently sit four games in front of the Orioles for the third and final AL Wild Card spot, but Seattle has dropped six of its past seven games entering Thursday.