SEATTLE -- Adam Eaton, who had been out since his second-inning collision with the U.S. Cellular Field wall while chasing down Adam Rosales' two-run homer Wednesday, returned to the White Sox starting lineup for Seattle's 4-1 victory Friday night at Safeco Field, but he only lasted one at-bat against Hisashi Iwakuma, exiting with soreness in his right rib cage.
Eaton looked fine in battling through a nine-pitch at-bat, but he barely made it out of the batter's box on his groundout to third baseman Kyle Seager. Eaton was replaced in center field in the bottom of the first inning by Leury Garcia, who finished 1-for-3 and is now hitting .186 compared to Eaton's .304 mark.
After the team's fourth straight loss, Eaton said that he felt the pain in the first or second swing of that opening trip to the plate.
"When I hit the ball in play, I didn't have enough to even run," Eaton said. "It wasn't good. There's really not much we know about it. I don't know what [White Sox head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] and them are thinking so we'll play it by ear."
"It might be in his ribs," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He looked fine in BP and everything, ran out and everything looked fine. You could tell when he hit the ball and was not running to first."
Schneider told Eaton that his pain might be related to an oblique injury, and Eaton thinks it has something to do with the wall collision from Wednesday. No X-ray or MRI was taken Friday, and he will be re-evaluated Saturday.
"I took BP in the cage today. Swung it hard. I wasn't babying it. I felt decent. I felt pretty good going into today," Eaton said. "I felt confident in it. I really did and then that first or second swing it seemed like something kind of gave away or you know didn't feel right."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.