Seattle (80-74) at Toronto (70-84)

Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 34° F
  • Game info: 1:07 pm EDT Sat Sep 26, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays have split the first two matchups in their four-game weekend series, with each team riding its staff ace to a victory.

Neither club will have its ace when the series continues Saturday afternoon, and the Mariners’ lineup may be at less than full strength.

Seattle (80-74) won Thursday night’s series opener 5-4 behind eight strong innings from Felix Hernandez(notes), who struck out 11 en route to his 17th victory. The Blue Jays (70-84) returned the favor Friday behind Roy Halladay(notes), who threw a seven-hitter in what may have been his final home start in Toronto as the Blue Jays won 5-0.

Halladay, who has one year remaining on his contract but will be the subject of rampant offseason trade speculation, received standing ovations at both the start and end of the ninth inning.

“Those are things you take with you, that you’re going to tell your kids about,” Halladay said. “Regardless of what happens this winter, it means a lot to me. To have that many people that supportive and chanting, I think it would mean a lot to anybody.

“I can’t remember many times going out for the ninth where people are cheering and standing up before the inning starts,” Halladay added. “Maybe I was more aware, I don’t know. You definitely feel the excitement and somehow show your appreciation.”

Halladay’s dominance may also impact Saturday’s game. Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki(notes), Adrian Beltre(notes) and Franklin Gutierrez(notes) all fouled pitches off their legs. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said Beltre will likely miss this contest due to a sore left leg, and Suzuki left Friday’s contest after fouling a ball off his foot in his final at-bat.

The status of Suzuki, whose .355 average is second in the AL behind Joe Mauer(notes), is unknown for Saturday.

With their lineup likely undermanned, the Mariners will look to Ian Snell(notes) (5-2, 4.53 ERA) to continue his recent strong pitching. The right-hander, acquired July 29 from Pittsburgh in a seven-player deal, is 5-1 with a 3.05 ERA in his last seven starts with his new club while yielding more than two earned runs in only one of those outings. He limited the powerful New York Yankees to one run over 5 1-3 innings Sunday to earn a 7-1 victory.

Snell did not receive a decision in his only start against Toronto. He did not fare well, giving up four runs, right hits and four walks in four innings for the Pirates on June 22, 2008.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston will give the ball to left-hander David Purcey(notes) (1-2, 5.31), who earned his first win in seven starts this season in his last outing. Purcey threw 7 2-3 strong innings in Monday’s 9-2 victory over Baltimore, holding the Orioles to one run.

Purcey earned his first career win at home against the Mariners on July 26, 2008, when he allowed three runs over six innings.

Aaron Hill(notes) hit his 34th homer of the season Friday for Toronto, doubling his previous career high. The second baseman is batting .314 during a nine-game hit streak.

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Starting Pitchers

I. Snell LAD vs. D. Purcey CWS
7-10 Record 1-3
4.84 ERA 6.19
89 K 39
83 BB 30
1.59 WHIP 1.75

Scoreboard

Saturday, Sep 26