Notes: Gonzalez lands on DL
Catcher pulled hamstring during Saturday's contest
SEATTLE -- The more he talked about his latest injury, the harder catcher Wiki Gonzalez had to work to keep his composure.
After battling various ailments the past four years, Gonzalez finally returned to the Major Leagues on May 6 and was making the most of the opportunity, contributing some key hits, calling good games and making good plays.
"I was enjoying the game again," he said.
The fun ended in the seventh inning Saturday night while he was running to first base at Safeco Field.
"I was halfway to first base and I felt a pain in the back of my leg," he said. "I knew it was something really bad."
So bad that the Mariners put Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list prior to Sunday's series finale against the Red Sox and promoted Rene Rivera from Double-A San Antonio.
Gonzalez, who will be 31 years old on Tuesday, was 6-for-16 (.375) with four doubles and two RBIs in four games with Seattle.
"It's a bad break for Wiki," manager Mike Hargrove said. "He was swinging the bat well, receiving the ball well. It's a shame this happened, and it came out of nowhere. No one had any hint that his hamstrings were tight."
Gonzalez, acquired form the Padres in January 2004, along with Kevin Jarvis, Dave Hansen and Minor League infielder Vince Faison for catcher Ben Davis and pitcher Brian Sweeney, played in only 13 games last season, batting .308 (16-for-52) with five home runs and 14 RBIs.
"I hope this is not something that will keep me out for long," Gonzalez said, fighting back tears.
Hargrove said it was too soon to tell how long Gonzalez would be sidelined.
"With a hamstring [injury], realistically it would be longer than 15 days," he said. "But it's a guess and as we get deeper [into the rehab process], we'll have a better time frame."
Miguel Olivo resumes his role as the first-string catcher, hoping that his offense catches up to his defense. Olivo has been superb on defense, but his offense has been non-existent -- especially this month. He went into Sunday's game with a .125 batting average and in a 0-for-27 skid, but snapped the drought with an infield single in the second inning. In the fourth, he smacked his first homer of the year, taking a Tim Wakefield pitch into the left-field stands.
Rivera, 21, had played 26 games with the Missions. He was batting .273 (27-for-99) with six doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs. He appeared in two games with Seattle last season, going 0-for-3.
The Mariners selected Rivera in the second round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.
Rivera played in three Cactus League games in March, going 1-for-4.
"The kid can catch and he's athletic," Hargrove said. "I don't know that I saw enough at-bats [in Spring Training] to know what he can do, but I certainly would not be afraid to use him."
Rivera walked into the Mariners clubhouse at about 10:30 a.m. PT on Sunday.
He said San Antonio manager Dave Brundage had called at 2 a.m. to inform him of the promotion.
"I told him I was sleeping and not to call me again," Rivera said.
The second call got Rivera's undivided attention and he quickly packed for the trip from Frisco, Texas, to Seattle.
"This is just as exciting as last year when I got called up for the first time," Rivera said. "It's always the same feeling. This is the big leagues, you know."
Tale of two months: Left-handed reliever Ron Villone had a magnificent April, making 12 appearances before surrendering an earned run, which came in his 13th and final outing in the month.
But May has been a different story.
He has made five appearances entering Sunday's game in May, pitched four innings and surrendered six earned runs.
So what gives?
"It boils down to location," he said. "If you don't put the ball within an inch or two of where you want it, they could become fair balls, walks or whatever. This is a game of inches."
Bucky gets good report: Bucky Jacobsen hobbled around the Seattle clubhouse Sunday morning, feeling good about the exploratory arthroscopic surgery he had Friday afternoon.
A small portion of one of the three "plugs" that were put in his right knee last September was "shaved off" by Dr. Larry Pedegana, the team's medical director.
"He was pleased with how well my knee has been coming around," Jacobsen said. "He sounded optimistic and happy, so that makes me happy."
Jacobsen, who became one of the Mariners' most popular players with the fans the second half of last season after being promoted from Triple-A Tacoma, said he expects to continue getting treatment in Seattle for at least a week and then return to Peoria, Ariz., to resume his rehab program.
Blowers had his number: You couldn't blame former Mariners third baseman Mike Blowers, who now works on pre- and post-game radio shows for the team's flagship station, for taking a stroll down memory lane during the series finale.
The Red Sox started Tim Wakefield, a knuckleball specialist that Blowers owned during his MLB career. Blowers went 7-for-14 with three home runs with nine RBIs. He also had four walks, was hit by a pitch and a 1.143 slugging percentage.
Up next: Right-hander Aaron Sele makes his eighth start of the season and second in a row against the Yankees, who roughed him up in New York. The veteran surrendered eight hits and seven runs in 2 2/3 innings.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.