Seattle (80-75) at Toronto (71-84)

Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 32° F
  • Game info: 1:07 pm EDT Sun Sep 27, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It’s not easy to hit a nerve with Seattle Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki(notes). The Toronto Blue Jays, meanwhile, don’t seem to be having much trouble hitting for power.

A day after Suzuki’s first career ejection, the struggling Mariners look to do a better job of handling the Blue Jays lineup Sunday.

Seattle (80-75) has lost nine of 13 on the road and three of four overall.

“You’ve got to be able to capitalize and put teams away,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said.

Even Suzuki seems to be frustrated.

He was ejected from the Mariners’ 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Blue Jays (71-84) on Saturday for arguing a called third strike in the fifth inning. It was the first ejection of Suzuki’s career, including his years in Japan, and the first for Seattle this season.

The nine-time All-Star’s average dropped to .353 after going 0 for 3. Suzuki is second to Minnesota’s Joe Mauer(notes) in the AL batting race.

Suzuki is one of baseball’s top threats at the plate, though he’s not a power hitter. Toronto, meanwhile, has been relying on homers, connecting in seven straight games.

The Blue Jays have hit 33 home runs in September and are among the league leaders with 190. They had three Saturday in the third game of this four-game set.

Adam Lind(notes) connected twice, including a game-ending solo shot in the 10th inning. Lind, having a career season with 32 homers and 109 RBIs, helped Toronto win for the sixth time in seven home games.

Lind is 3 for 5 with a home run against Ryan Rowland-Smith(notes) (4-3, 3.70 ERA), set to take his turn in Seattle’s rotation. He did not receive a decision in his last start, giving up three runs and walking four in five innings of Seattle’s 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.

The left-hander went 2-1 with a 3.21 ERA in his previous four outings.

Rowland-Smith is 1-0 with a 4.20 ERA in two starts and two relief appearances versus the Blue Jays.

Toronto will counter with Brian Tallet(notes) (7-9, 5.39), who is 2-1 with a 6.93 ERA in five outings since being moved back into a starting role. The left-hander allowed five runs and 11 hits in 6 1-3 innings before Toronto came back to beat Baltimore 6-5 in 11 innings Tuesday night.

This will be Tallet’s first start versus the Mariners. He has not received a decision in four relief appearances against them, posting a 6.00 ERA.

Tallet may not have to face Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre(notes), who did not play Saturday after fouling a ball off his left foot in a 5-0 Mariners loss the previous day. Jack Hannahan(notes) will likely make his second straight start if Beltre can’t play.

Mariners designated hitter Mike Sweeney(notes), meanwhile, returned to the lineup after taking Friday off after being hit by a pitch in a 5-4 Seattle win Thursday night. The veteran went 2 for 5 and is hitting .400 over his last 22 games.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Rowland-Smith Cin vs. B. Tallet Pit
5-4 Record 7-9
3.74 ERA 5.32
52 K 120
27 BB 72
1.18 WHIP 1.50


Sunday, Sep 27