Playing at Rogers Centre could help them do just that.
The Blue Jays open a three-game set against the last-place Mariners on Friday night as they look to win for the eighth time in nine home games.
Toronto (51-51) capped a 4-3 trip by beating Baltimore twice on Thursday. The first was a 5-1 win in the continuation of Wednesday’s game, which was stopped with two outs in the sixth inning due to rain. Toronto then won 7-1 behind Roy Halladay’s seven strong innings.
“Something we’ve been trying to do since I got here was get to .500 and we have managed to do it,” said Jays manager Cito Gaston, now 16-12 since taking over for the fired John Gibbons on June 21. “Things didn’t start out too good on this road trip but it turned out pretty good.”
The Jays return home looking to move above .500 for the first time since they were 35-34 on June 13. They’ll try to do that against the Mariners (38-63), owners of the worst record in the AL.
Toronto has won seven of eight at home, but dropped two of three to Seattle there from June 9-11 and is 2-4 in the season series.
Now the Blue Jays hope to stay perfect with John Parrish (1-0, 4.50 ERA) on the mound. They have won all three starts he’s made since purchasing his contract from Triple-A Syracuse on June 28.
Parrish, though, lasted only three innings in Sunday’s 9-4 victory at Tampa Bay, allowing four runs and four hits, including two homers.
The left-hander is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA and one save in nine relief outings against Seattle. He spent parts of the final two months of last season with the Mariners, going 0-0 with a 6.97 ERA in eight appearances before being released in the offseason, and accepting a minor league deal with the Blue Jays in December.
The Mariners will try to avoid losing a sixth consecutive game after falling 6-3 to Boston on Wednesday to cap a 1-5 homestand.
“No matter how many times you get hit between the eyes, you have to get back up and get after it,” said Seattle left fielder Raul Ibanez, who homered for the fourth time in eight games.
The Mariners hope Miguel Batista (4-11, 6.89) can rebound from one of his worst starts of the season.
The right-hander lasted two innings Saturday, getting pounded for eight runs and seven hits in a 9-6 loss to Cleveland. That came after a groin injury forced him to leave his previous start on July 9 after he gave up only a solo homer in two innings in a 6-4 win at Oakland.
Seattle used him out of the bullpen Sunday and he yielded two hits in the ninth inning of a 4-0 loss to Boston.
Batista is 3-1 with a 1.35 ERA in five career starts against Toronto.
Ichiro Suzuki is five hits shy of reaching 3,000 career hits, albeit in two different leagues. The All-Star right fielder has collected 1,717 hits with Seattle after getting 1,278 with Japan’s Orix Blue Wave.
Suzuki, in a 2-for-16 slump, is hitting .350 in 68 games against the Blue Jays after going 5-for-8 in helping Seattle win the last two meetings from July 1-2.
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