Bay says he’s close to returning from sore hamstring

Jason Bay wasn’t in the lineup for a fourth straight game Thursday, but the Mariners outfielder said an ailing hamstring is nearing full recovery and he hopes to be able to return in a day or two.

“It feels 10 times better today,” Bay said prior to the series finale with the Angels.”It’s the most marked improvement I’ve had. It was never that bad to begin with, but it’s one of those things where you either miss a couple days now or a couple weeks later. The last couple days were stagnant, but today was by far the best day. So hopefully I’m a day or two away.”

Bay felt the hamstring tighten on Sunday when he was running to first on a double-play ball in Oakland.

“It’s pretty basic hamstring tightness,” he said. “Almost 35 doesn’t recover as fast as 25 used to, but I feel a lot better today.”

Bay is batting .222 with eight home runs and 17 RBIs in 53 games this season, though he’s struggled recently while hitting just .180 without a home run over his last 12 games after a two-homer game in Minnesota on June 1.

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