Nelson Cruz forced from game after injuring ankle slipping on stairs

Seattle Mariners v San Francisco Giants

SAFECO FIELD -- Designated hitter Nelson Cruz slipped on the clubhouse stairs and rolled his right ankle to the point he had to be lifted from Saturday's game against the Cleveland Indians.

Cruz was in a walking boot in clubhouse after the game. X-rays showed the ankle was not fractured, but an MRI is still scheduled for Sunday to determine the extent of the damage.

"Freak accident," manager Scott Servais said. "Kind of unbelievable at times some of the things we've gone through here but just try to stay positive and hopefully everything is OK."

Cruz had hit a two-run home run off Indians starter Carlos Carrasco in the sixth inning to pull the Mariners within one, 6-5. After celebrating with his teammates in the dugout, Cruz retreated down the clubhouse steps only to slip off the final step and roll his ankle. The accident left Cruz in serious pain and struggling to walk in the immediate aftermath. 

"I couldn't even walk the stairs," Cruz said. I thought it was worse but thank god nothing is broken. It feels better now than what it was."

The injury forced Servais to pinch-hit with Guillermo Heredia in the eighth inning against Andrew Miller after a Robinson Cano leadoff double put the tying run on second base. The Mariners couldn't come through with the hit they needed to score Cano to tie the game and the 6-5 margin remained as the final score.

"Nothing we can do at this point. Just hope for the best and hopefully (it's) nothing bad," Cruz said.

"At least I can walk now. We've got to see tomorrow, take it day-by-day."

Cruz had hit two-run home runs in each of Seattle's first two games of the season, picking right up where he left off last season when he hit 39 home runs and led the league in RBIs with 119. With Mike Zunino already on the disabled list due to oblique strain, it's not a great start to the year for the Mariners on the injury front.

Photo Credit: SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 09: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Seattle Mariners hits a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants in the third inning of the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 9, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

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