No matter how many runs they score, the Seattle Mariners can’t seem to find a way to win of late.
After totaling two runs in four games versus Texas over the weekend, Seattle (43-53) scored all its runs in the first two innings and blew a three-run lead in Tuesday’s 6-5, 14-inning loss to the Blue Jays hours after holding a team meeting.
“I know it’s going to get better,” said Mariners manager Eric Wedge, whose team has been outscored 47-16 during the 10-game losing streak. “I think the one thing you have to realize is we’re not playing bad baseball. This will make them tougher, and they’ve got to get tougher.”
Rookie Greg Halman(notes) hit a three-run homer and Ryan added a solo shot as the Mariners homered for the first time in 10 games but stranded 10 runners. Batting a career-low .260, Ichiro Suzuki(notes) went 1 for 7 and is 2 for 26 his last six games. He’s 4 for 20 against the Blue Jays (48-49) this season.
The Mariners hope to finally break through against Morrow (6-4, 4.37 ERA), who faces his former team for the first time since Toronto acquired him in a trade for All-Star Brandon League(notes) in December 2009. Morrow made all but 15 of his 131 appearances over three years with the Mariners out of the bullpen, going 8-12 with a 3.96 ERA and 16 saves.
The right-hander has thrived in the Blue Jays’ rotation of late, going 4-0 with a 2.68 ERA in six starts since losing to Boston on June 11. Morrow allowed one run, four hits and struck out six in 6 2-3 innings of a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday.
“I think I’ve established command and rhythm after being on the DL (with forearm inflammation to start the season) that I didn’t have right away when I came back,” Morrow said.
Toronto’s Jose Bautista(notes) went 1 for 6 with an RBI in his return Tuesday as the designated hitter after missing the previous three games with a sore right ankle. The major league leader with 31 home runs, Bautista could be back at third base for this contest. His only hit in six at-bats versus scheduled Mariners starter Jason Vargas(notes) (6-7, 3.68) left the park.
After tossing a six-hitter against San Diego on July 1, Vargas posted a 4.50 ERA while losing his last two starts in shutout defeats. He gave up five runs and three homers in six innings of a 5-0 loss to Texas on Thursday.
The left-hander has been much better against Toronto, posting a 2.70 ERA without a decision in two starts—both at home. Vargas gave up a run and struck out seven in 6 2-3 innings of an 8-3 loss to the Blue Jays on April 13.
Seattle has dropped six of seven at Toronto. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, have won six of eight overall.