Vernon Wells needed less than a month to recover from a broken wrist. He’s wasted no time making an impact at the plate.
Toronto’s center fielder was originally expected to miss six to eight weeks when he landed awkwardly on his left wrist while making a catch in Cleveland on May 9, but returned to the field Saturday after teammate Shannon Stewart sprained his ankle.
Wells went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI in his first game back, then went 3-for-4 with a home run Sunday in Toronto’s 5-4 win over Baltimore.
The Blue Jays (33-32) snapped a four-game losing streak and avoided a three-game sweep against the Orioles.
“It was a game we needed to win,” Wells said. “You never like getting swept and you obviously never like getting swept at home. We’ve had some tough losses, they’ve been hard to watch from afar. It was a good win today.”
The Blue Jays will now look to continue their dominance of Seattle as they continue their nine-game homestand. Toronto has won five consecutive games against the Mariners overall, and is 19-6 at home against them since 2003.
Wells did not enjoy similar success versus the Mariners last season, hitting just .171 (6-for-35) versus Seattle.
Toronto hands the ball to Jesse Litsch (7-2, 3.45 ERA), who looks to bounce back after struggling in his last start. Litsch, who had won his previous three outings and compiled a 1.67 ERA over his previous six starts, lasted just 5 1-3 innings on Wednesday against the Yankees, giving up a season-high 10 hits and four runs in the 5-1 loss.
The right-hander also struggled in his only career start against the Mariners, allowing four runs and five hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 4-2 loss last July 20.
The Mariners (22-41) have dropped six of their last seven games, becoming further entrenched as the club with the worst record in the majors. They lost two of three at Boston over the weekend, including a 2-1 defeat on Sunday.
Seattle fell to 8-22 on the road with the loss.
“I have no explanation for our road woes,” Green said. “We’re playing hard and it’s just not happening right now.”
It also hasn’t been happening for Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn (2-7, 6.56), who has lost his last three decisions and is winless since May 5. He allowed four runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels last Monday.
“I feel like I’m throwing pretty good for the most part, but one or two key mistakes in each game comes back to bite me,” Washburn said.
The left-hander is 2-7 with a 5.16 ERA in nine career starts against the Blue Jays.