OAKLAND -- Mariners rookie catcher Jesus Montero was not in the lineup Sunday against the A's for the third straight game due to a minor concussion.
Montero, who took a hard foul tip off his face mask and had to leave Wednesday's game against Boston in the fifth inning, was going to be a game-time decision as to whether he'd be available to pinch hit after seeing how he handled batting practice, according to manager Eric Wedge.
"He's still not ready to start, but after he takes BP we'll see if he recoups from that," said Wedge. "Yesterday he was fine during BP, then he got a little dizzy taking ground balls. So if anything like that comes up, he's not ready to play."
Wedge said Montero would be evaluated further during the upcoming four-day All-Star break.
The 22-year-old finished the first half of his first full Major League season hitting .245 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs in 73 games.
Millwood likely choice to make Friday start
OAKLAND -- The Mariners haven't officially set their rotation for the Texas series after the All-Star break, but manager Eric Wedge said Kevin Millwood will likely start the first game Friday at Safeco Field.
Felix Hernandez's situation depends on whether he pitches in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, but he presumably will start either Saturday or Sunday against the Rangers, with Jason Vargas likely getting the other start in that three-game set.
"We're still trying to work everything through with Felix in the All-Star Game," Wedge said. "We have to see how that plays out."
Rookie right-hander Erasmo Ramirez is eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday, July 16, but Wedge said he won't be ready for the first turn through the rotation, and fifth starter Hector Noesi was sent down to Triple-A Tacoma this week.
Long reliever Hisashi Iwakuma will take one of those two rotation spots, but another roster move will be needed to fill the other start when the Mariners open a seven-game road trip in Kansas City after the Texas series.
Seager continues to come through in the clutch
OAKLAND -- Kyle Seager has been Mr. Clutch throughout the first half for the Mariners, delivering 29 of the team's 113 two-out RBIs heading into Sunday's series finale with the A's.
That number puts him among some pretty select company in Mariners history, as he's tied for sixth for the most two-out RBIs heading into the All-Star break.
Jim Presley (1986) and Richie Sexson ('05) had 34 two-out RBIs by the break, while Alvin Davis ('84) and Ken Griffey Jr. ('99) had 33. Edgar Martinez is fifth on the list with 32 in 2000. Seager is tied with Jay Buhner ('97), Griffey ('97) and Willie Horton ('79) with his 29.
The young third baseman said it's simply a matter of keeping things simple in critical situations.
"When you've got two outs and guys in scoring position, you're really trying to stay in the middle of the field and not do too much necessarily," said Seager, who leads the Mariners with 52 total RBIs. "That's been kind of the key. Not trying to do too much, just putting a good swing on the ball."
• Manager Eric Wedge said he doesn't expect Franklin Gutierrez to be ready to return when the team opens play Friday after the All-Star break. Gutierrez is eligible to come off his second seven-day concussion DL stint on Friday, but continues to be bothered by the blow to his head from a pickoff throw by Boston's Franklin Morales on June 29.
"He's getting better, but the way I look at it, he's going to need to go out and play a few games now [on a Minor League rehab stint]," said Wedge. "So Friday just isn't an option. We have to get him completely cleared, then ramp up the activity and then get him out."
• Rookie reliever Stephen Pryor flew to High Desert on Sunday to join the Mariners' Class A affiliate to begin a rehab stint as he recovers from a strained groin. Pryor will pitch with High Desert this week and then likely head to Tacoma after the Triple-A All-Star break.
• Mike Carp went 0-for-4 on Saturday in Tacoma as he continues his rehab stint for a strained shoulder. Carp hit .188 (3-for-16) in his first four games with the Rainiers with three walks. Wedge said he isn't going to be ready to return out of the All-Star break either.
"It probably won't be immediate," Wedge said. "We've had him DHing, he started playing catch yesterday and the next step is to get him playing some first base and then we'll go from there."