The subject of trade rumors, Washburn tries to win a fifth straight start while looking to help the Mariners avoid a fifth consecutive loss on Tuesday night against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays.
While the primary focus of this series could be whether Toronto ace Roy Halladay(notes) will be dealt before his scheduled start in Wednesday’s finale, Washburn’s recent run of success has increased his potential trade value with Seattle (51-48) 7 1/2 games back in the AL West.
Washburn (8-6, 2.71 ERA) allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings of a 2-1 win at Detroit on Thursday. The left-hander has given up two earned runs and four walks in 29 2-3 innings while winning his last four starts.
“You get a lot of calls this time of year, and people text and e-mail saying, ‘What is going on? What are you hearing?”’ said Washburn, who’ll be a free agent at the end of the season. “I tell them all the same thing, ‘You guys hear just as much as I do and I’ll let you know if something happens.”
A year ago, Washburn had a 5-9 record and 4.50 ERA when the trade deadline arrived and the Mariners decided not to move him to Minnesota in a potential deal. Washburn, who’s 4-7 with a 4.23 ERA in 12 starts versus the Blue Jays, wouldn’t mind staying in Seattle.
“I want to stay here because if I get traded it means something bad has happened (to the team),” he told the Mariners’ official Web site.
That might be the case after Seattle dropped to 0-4 on a six-game homestand with an 11-4 loss to Toronto on Monday.
Though the Mariners still lead the AL with a 3.90 ERA, they’ve allowed 10 or more runs in three straight contests and have a 9.75 ERA over their last four.
Batting .318, Rolen has eight RBIs in his last six games, but is 1 for 7 versus Washburn.
While Suzuki leads the AL with a .363 average, Gutierrez is hitting .300 and is 6 for 12 in his last three contests.
Rzepczynski makes his fifth start after giving up four runs - two earned - and three hits while striking out six in 4 1-3 innings of a 5-4 loss to Cleveland on Thursday.
“Where I’ve gotten in trouble is basically getting myself in trouble,” said the left-hander, who turns 24 next month. “When you create your own jams, it makes it that much harder to pitch.”