The Mariners aim for first series sweep of the season Sunday when they play Toronto in the final game of a three-game series. Seattle won the first two by a combined 12-1.
GAME: Mariners (15-17, 3rd, AL West, -5.0 GB) at Blue Jays (10-21, 5th, AL East, -10.5 GB). GAME #: 33. SERIES: 3rd of 3 games. MEETING: 3rd (Mariners lead 2-0). WHEN: Sunday, 10:07 a.m., Rogers Center. STREAKS: Mariners W 3; Blue Jays L 4. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
After a miserable April, the numbers are finally trending in Seattle’s direction. The Mariners have won three consecutive series, their past three games (season high) by a combined 20-4, and seven of their past nine overall. At 15-17, Seattle is just two games under .500 and will close out a three-game series Sunday against a Toronto team that has allowed 25 runs in its past four contests.
Lefty Joe Saunders (2-3, 5.25 ERA) just needs to avoid plopping a mouse in this statistical soup when he opposes former Seattle starter Brandon Morrow (0-2, 5.29). Saunders had a lights-out effort in his last start at Safeco Field, throwing a complete-game win over the Baltimore Orioles. But he’s been a dud on the road with an 0-3 record and 12.51 ERA.
His career numbers in Toronto — 2-2, 3.04 — are decent enough, and he’ll be facing a Blue Jays team that has tallied just three runs in its past four games.
Morrow has been tough on the Mariners since they traded him to Toronto Dec. 23, 2009 for Johermyn Chavez (minors) and Brandon League, neither of whom is with Seattle any more. He’s 3-1 in four starts, his most notable effort coming April 28, 2012, when he blanked the Mariners on five hits over 6.0 innings in a 7-0 Toronto victory. Morrow had nine strikeouts and no walks that day.
MARINERS: LHP Joe Saunders (2-3, 5.25 ERA, 1.47 WHIP)
The 31-year-old Saunders, a Springfield, VA., native in his ninth major league season and first with the Mariners, will make his seventh start and first against the Blue Jays. Saunders is coming off his best start, a complete-game effort against Baltimore April 29, but has had massive trouble pitching on the road with an 0-3 record and 12.51 ERA (vs. 2-0, 0.81 at Safeco Field). In his last road outing, at Houston April 24, the Astros battered him for eight earned runs in 5.0 innings.
BLUE JAYS: RHP Brandon Morrow (0-2, 5.29 ERA, 1.57 WHIP)
The 28-year-old Morrow, a Santa Rosa, CA., native in his seventh major league season and fourth with the Blue Jays, will make his seventh start and first against the Mariners. Morrow has already had four no-decisions in his six starts and has struggled all season, failing to pitch more than 6.1 innings in a game this year. He allowed just one earned run in his first start (April 3), but has given up 11 earned runs in his past three.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|5/5||Sun||at Tor||LHP Joe Saunders (2-3) vs. RHP Brandon Morrow (0-2)|
|5/7||Tue||at Pitt||RHP Aaron Harang (1-3) vs. RHP James McDonald (2-2)|
|5/8||Wed||at Pitt||RHP Felix Hernandez (4-2) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (2-2)|