Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion hit the grand slam Saturday that put the final nail in the end of Seattle's four-game winning streak. / Wiki Commons
GAME: Mariners (11-11, T 2 AL West, – 5.5 GB) at Blue Jays (11-10, 4th, AL East, – 2.0 GB). GAME #: 23. SERIES: 3rd of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 3rd (series tied 1-1). WHEN: Sunday, 10:05 a.m. Rogers Center, Toronto, Canada. PROBABLE PITCHERS: LHP Jason Vargas (Seattle, 3-1, 3.45) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (Toronto, 0-2, 4.10). STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Blue Jays W 1. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.
After sustaining a 7-0 beating at the hands of Brandon Morrow and Edwin Encarnacion Saturday that made history of a season-high four-game winning streak, the Mariners close out a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays with a 10:05 a.m. breakfast date.
The Mariners will task Jason Vargas (3-1, 3.45) with launching a new winning streak in a ballpark where the Mariners are 2-9 since 2009. Toronto’s Henderson Alvarez (0-2, 4.10) will try to ensure that Canadian glee continues.
After the last out Sunday, the Mariners head to St. Petersburg, FL., to face the Rays, the top team in the AL East, for a four-game series. A closer look at Sunday’s duelists:
MARINERS: LHP Jason Vargas (3-1, 3.45 ERA, 1.02 WHIP)
The 29-year-old Vargas, in his seventh major league season and fifth with the Mariners, will be making his sixth start of 2012 and first against the Blue Jays.
A native of Apple Valley, CA., the 6-0, 215-pound Vargas was selected in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft by the Florida Marlins.
He made his debut with Florida July 14, 2005, pitching one inning of relief in a 13-7 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Mariners acquired Vargas as part of a three-team swap Dec. 11, 2008, when the New York Mets sent him along with Mike Carp, Ezequiel Carrera, Endy Chavez, Maikel Cleto and Aaron Heilman to the Mariners. The Mariners sent Sean Green, J.J. Putz and Jeremy Reed to the Mets.
The Mariners also sent Luis Valbuena to the Indians. The Mets sent Joe Smith to the Indians, who sent Franklin Gutierrez to the Mariners.
Vargas, the only lefty in Seattles starting rotation, has a career record of 31-40, 4.50 ERA, including 23-32, 4.16 ERA with the Mariners.
- LAST START: April 24 at Detroit, allowed four runs on six hits, defeating Max Scherzer and the Tigers 7-4 in a game in which the Mariners banged out 15 hits; struck out four, walked one in a 94-pitch effort that included 61 strikes; surrendered two home runs, to Alex Avila and Miguel Cabrera.
- LAST VS. BLUE JAYS: Aug. 16 at Safeco Field, dropped a 13-7 decision in a game in which the Blue Jays raked him for eight earned runs on seven hits in 4.0 innings; struck out two, walked four and allowed a home run (Aaron Hill).
- CAREER VS. BLUE JAYS: Four appearances, all starts, 0-2 record, 7.52 ERA covering 20.1 innings; poor strikeout to walk ratio (11 K’s, 12 BBs); has allowed 17 runs, all earned.
- AT ROGERS CENTER: One start, July 20, 0-1 record, 15.00 ERA in 3.0 innings; allowed five earned runs in an 11-6 Seattle loss (winning pitcher was ex-Mariner Brandon Morrow).
- LOVES TO FACE: Rajai Davis (0-for-8, .000 BA, 3 K’s), Jeff Mathis (1-for-13, .077 BA, 5 K’s), Jose Bautista (1-for-7, .143 BA, 2 K’s).
- HATES TO FACE: Omar Vizquel (2-for-3, .667 BA), Edwin Encarnacion (4-for-12, .333 BA, 1 HR), Ben Francisco (2-for-6, .333 BA).
- CURRENT BLUE JAYS VS. VARGAS: 19-for-82, .232 BA, 2 HRs, 19 K’s.
Vargas / 2012
- March 29 (ND, 0-0): Pitched well enough to win in Tokyo, but after he departed the game, the bullpen imploded, surrendering three home runs, greasing Seattles 4-1 defeat to Oakland.
- April 6 (W, 1-0): Threw 91 pitches, 58 for strikes, finishing with an in-game ERA of 2.31 in a 7-3 victory over Oakland, Vargas first win.
- April 12 (L, 1-1): Allowed four earned runs on seven hits and lost to Derek Holland and the Rangers 5-3 in Arlington; fanned six and walked one; gave up a two-run bomb to Michael Young, who had four RBIs; threw 96 pitches, 63 strikes.
- April 18 (W, 2-1): Allowed one earned run on four hits over 7 innings, defeating Indians, 4-1; had nine ground-ball outs and nine fly-ball outs.
- April 24 (W, 3-1): Allowed four runs on six hits, defeating Max Scherzer and the Tigers 7-4 in a game in which the Mariners banged out 15 hits; struck out four, walked one in a 94-pitch effort that included 61 strikes; surrendered two home runs, to Alex Avila and Miguel Cabrera.
BLUE JAYS: RHP Henderson Alvarez (0-2, 4.10 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)
The 22-year-old Alvarez, in his second major league season, both with Toronto, will be making his fifth start of the season and his first against the Mariners.
A native of Valencia, Venezuela., 6-1, 210-pound Alvarez was originally signed by the Blue Jays as an amateur free agent in 2006. He pitched in 83 minor league games in the Toronto system from 2007-11, and made his major league debut Aug. 10, 2011.
Alvarez started that day against Oakland and came away with a no-decision after allowing three earned runs on eight hits over 5.2 innings. He gave up one home run in Torontos 8-4 win.
Alvarez made 10 starts, compiling a 1-3 record and 3.53 ERA. He pitched his best game Aug. 31 at Baltimore, when he did not allow a run and only three hits over 8.0 innings in a 13-0 Toronto victory.
Prior to his call up to the big leagues, Alvarez spent part of the 2011 season with Dunedin of the Florida State League (A) and New Hampshire of the Eastern League (AA).
Alvarez has a career mark of 1-5, 370 ERA.
- 2012: Alvarez has two losses and two no-decisions and has gone at least 6.0 innings in all four of his starts. He hasnt enjoyed much run support, the Blue Jays scoring just 11 runs in the four games hes pitched. Alvarez hasnt struck out many (8), but hes walked only six batters in 26.1 innings.
- LAST START: April 24 at Baltimore, took the loss in Torontos 2-1 setback at Camden Yards; allowed two earned runs on five hits over 7.0 innings; had no strikeouts, two walks and allowed a home run.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: Aug. 15, 2011, at Safeco Field, took a no-decision in Seattles 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays (Tom Wilhelmsen collected the win); started and pitched 5.0 innings, allowing four runs on six hits; gave up a solo home run to Mike Carp.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: Alvarezs start against Seattle Aug. 15 is his only appearance, thus is 0-0, 7.20 ERA.
- AT ROGERS CENTER: Nine starts, and has yet to win; 0-2, 4.42 ERA; has struck out 31 batters and walked 10, and has given up 10 home runs in 57.0 innings.
- LOVES TO FACE: Dustin Ackley (0-for-3, .000 BA), Ichiro (0-for-2, .000 BA).
- HATES TO FACE: Casper Wells (1-for-2, .500 BA), Jesus Montero (1-for-3, .333 BA).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. ALVAREZ: 5-for-22, .227 BA, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 Ks.
AL WEST STANDINGS
MARINERS / STATS NOTES
- With Seattle’s 7-0 loss Saturday, The Mariners are 167-188 all-time against the Blue Jays, who won six of the nine games played between the teams in 2011, outscoring Seattle 66-44.
- The Mariners have not taken a season series from Toronto since 2008.
- Seattle has not swept a series in Toronto since May 11-13, 2001.
- The Mariners have scored 53 of their 90 runs in the first four innings.
- Mariners are 8-1 when out-hitting their opponent and 10-3 when scoring four or more runs.
- The Mariners have been charged with five passed balls in the past five games, four by Miguel Olivo, one by Jesus Montero.
- Since getting “perfecto-ed” by Philip Humber last Saturday, the Mariners have had three double-digit hitting games, including 11 Friday against Toronto.
- After 21 games, the Mariners rank seventh in runs scored (90), fifth in hits (188), fifth in triples (3) and 10th in home runs (18).
- After 22 games, the Mariners rank 13th in the AL in batting average (.239), 13th in on-base percentage (.290), 12th in slugging (.369) and 12th in OPS (.659).
- Through 21 games, the Mariners are batting 45-for-190 (.237) with runners in scoring position; they went 0-for-8 Saturday.
- Through 22 games, the Mariners have been out-homered 26-18;
- Through 22 games, the Mariners have left 129 men on base, their opponents 135.
- Through 22 games, the Mariners have scored 90 runs, their opponents 93.
- Ichiro (2-for-4 Saturday) has 760 multi-hit games, which ranks fourth among active players, and No. 1 since his debut in 2001. Ichiro’s 47 games with four or more hits leads all active players.
- Ichiro’s three-hit game Wednesday (April 25) marked the 225th of his major league career.
- With 96 career home runs, Ichiro needs four to become the 12th Mariner with 100. Breakdown: 94 as a leadoff hitter, one batting second, one batting third.
- Felix Hernandez has 16 career no-decisions while throwing 7 or more innings and allowing one or fewer runs.
- The Mariners have recorded four bases-loaded walks (Kawasaki, Ryan, Montero, Smoak).
- Kyle Seager’s single in the fourth inning April 17 marked the 50,000th hit in Mariners’ history, and Brendan Ryan’s walk in the same frame scored Justin Smoak with the 25,000th run in franchise history.
- Two Mariners, Ichiro (March 28 in Tokyo vs. Oakland) and Justin Smoak (April 17 vs. Cleveland) have four-hit games in 2012.
- Jesus Montero owns Seattle’s longest hitting streak: eight games, from March 29-April 14.
- The Mariners have been shut out four times (April 10 at Texas, April 13 vs Oakland, April 21 vs. Chicago, April 27 at Toronto).
- Four Mariners, Hisashi Iwakuma, Munenori Kawasaki, Lucas Luetge and Erasmo Ramirez, have made their MLB debuts this season.
- The Mariners have batted around three times: April 7 at Oakland (4th inning), April 9 at Texas (1st), and April 17 vs. Cleveland (4th). Justin Smoak had two hits in the fourth vs. Cleveland, a pair of singles.
- The Mariners have three more bobblehead nights: May 25 (Dustin Ackley), June 15 (Felix Hernandez), July 28 (Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson).
- Series Records: Won 3, split 0, lost 3; Sweeps: 0; Swept: 1
- Longest Win Streak: 4 (April 24-27).
- Longest Losing Streak: 4 (April 19-22).
2012 RECORDS SET, TIED
- April 24: Catcher Miguel Olivo matched the franchise record when he was charged with three passed balls in a 7-4 win at Detroit. Jerry Narron let three balls get by him Oct. 4, 1980, and Jeff Clement did likewise Aug. 10, 2008 (Clement was catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey).
MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN
MARINERS BATTING PROFILE
MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE
||Vargas (3-1, 3.45) vs. Alvarez (0-2, 4.10)
||Hernandez (2-1, 2.48) vs. Hellickson (3-0, 2.84)
||Noesi (1-2, 8.83) vs. Moore (0-1, 4.68)
||Beavan (1-2, 3.26) vs. Shields (3-0, 2.76)
||Millwood (today) vs. Niemann (1-2, 4.11)
MARINERS 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
||Win / Loss
||W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)
||W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)
||Win / Loss
||W: Vargas (1-0); L: McCarthy (0-1)
||W: Hernandez (1-0); L: Colon (1-1)
||W: Darvish (1-0); L: Noesi (0-1)
||W: Feliz (1-0); L: Beavan (0-1)
||W: Luetge (1-0); L: Nathan (0-2)
||W: Holland (1-0); L: Vargas (1-1
||W: Colon (2-1); L: Hernandez (1-1)
||W: Noesi (1-1); L: Milone (1-1)
||W: Beavan (1-1); L: Godfrey (0-2)
||W: Perez (0-1); L: Furbush (0-1)
||W: Vargas (2-1); L: Lowe (2-1)
||W: Tomlin (1-1); L: League (0-1)
||W: Sale (2-1); L: Noesi (1-2)
||W: Humber (1-0); Beavan (1-2)
||W: Danks (2-2); L: Millwood (0-1)
||W: Vargas (3-1); L: Scherzer (1-2)
||W: Fernandez (2-1); L: Wilk (0-3)
||W: Furbush (1-1); L: Porcello (1-2)
||W: Furbush (2-1); L: Perez (2-1)
||W: Morrow (2-1); L: Millwood (0-2)