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Mariners lose Olerud for night

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SEATTLE — Mariners first baseman John Olerud missed Seattle's game against the New York Yankees on Wednesday night because his wife, Kelly, was scheduled to have the couple's second child.

With Olerud absent, manager Lou Piniella started Raul Ibanez at first. Piniella said he expected Olerud, the only Mariners player to play in all of the team's first 132 games, to rejoin the team Friday in Boston.

The Mariners expect to have right fielder Jay Buhner back for the Boston series this weekend. Buhner, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right wrist and right pinky finger, is back taking batting practice.

"Hopefully, we'll get Jay off the DL Friday," Piniella said. "He's about 80 percent improved. Our plans are tentatively to have him back this weekend."

Right-hander Gil Meche, who made 15 starts for Seattle this season, visited Dr. James Andrews, an orthopedic specialist, in Birmingham, Ala., this week and was advised to rest for six weeks, Piniella said.

"Dr. Andrews said there was nothing wrong with him," Piniella said. "The doctor seems to think rest is the answer. Total rest. No throwing at all. That's good news."

Meche came out of a rehabilitation start at Class A Everett after one inning Sunday night.

Meche, 21, was supposed to be a mainstay in the Mariners' rotation this season, but has been limited to 15 starts. He has been on the disabled list twice this season with a strained right shoulder.

Meche made his last start for the Mariners July 4 in Anaheim, going 5 2-3 innings in a 7-6 loss. He was put on the DL July 31.

Piniella had hoped to add him to his rotation in September.