SEATTLE — Outfielder Michael Saunders, as expected, returned Friday from the disabled list after the Mariners cleared space by optioning first baseman/designated hitter Jesus Montero to Triple-A Tacoma.
Saunders, 27, was 9-for-20 in five games at Tacoma in his recovery from a sore right shoulder — specifically, inflammation in the right AC joint — which surfaced on a swing in a June 6 game at Tampa Bay.
The Mariners signaled the move was likely Wednesday when Saunders took part in batting practice prior to their 5-4 loss to Boston. Montero also cleaned out his locker following the game.
Saunders was expected to be in uniform for Friday’s series opener against Cleveland. He was on a .356 surge (21-for-59) just prior to his injury and was batting .272 overall in 52 games with four homers and 25 RBIs.
Montero, 24, was 4-for-14 in five games following his June 12 recall from Tacoma, including a two-run homer on June 17 in a 6-1 victory over San Diego.
He batted .270 in 59 games for the Rainiers prior to his recall with eight homers and 40 RBIs.