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Brendan Ryan scratched Saturday due to neck stiffness

Apr 7, 2012, 9:18 PM EDT

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From MLB.com’s Greg Johns comes word that Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan was scratched from Saturday’s game against the A’s due to neck stiffness.

Ryan missed time near the end of the 2011 season with neck issues and suffered a pinched nerve this spring, but Mariners skipper Eric Wedge assured reporters that this recent bout of discomfort is not related.

“He just slept wrong,” Wedge said about an hour before first pitch. “With an off-day tomorrow, I don’t want to push it. I don’t want one day to turn into a week or 3-4 days, so it’s my call on that one.”

Ryan’s absence clears the way for Japanese infielder Munenori Kawasaki to make his major league debut.

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