Toronto (51-51) at Seattle (48-57)

Cloudy Currently: Seattle, WA
Temp: 62° F
  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Tue Jul 31, 2012
  • TV: RSN1, ROOT
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Seattle Mariners have fared well at the plate since saying goodbye to star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki.

Jason Vargas is hoping he won’t be one of the next players to leave the city.

If he isn’t traded before Tuesday’s deadline, Vargas will try to keep the Mariners’ season-high win streak going later that night against the Toronto Blue Jays

The Mariners (48-57) sent Suzuki, a 10-time All-Star and former AL MVP, to New York before the start of a home series with the Yankees on July 23 and saw him for the last time during a 5-2 defeat two days later.

Seattle hasn’t lost since then and has batted .306 with 25 runs scored over their five consecutive wins - all at Safeco Field. Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager each went 2 for 4 with an RBI in a 4-1 win Monday, the Mariners’ third in 11 games against the Blue Jays (51-51).

If he’s still with Seattle, Vargas (11-7, 3.76 ERA) will try to extend his win streak to a career-best five.

The left-hander has a 1.65 ERA in his six starts since a 14-10 loss in Arizona on June 20, and gave up one hit over eight innings during Thursday’s 4-1 win over Kansas City.

That recent success, though, might make Vargas a prized commodity for a contending team.

“This has really been my first home in the big leagues,” said Vargas, who came to Seattle in a trade with the New York Mets in December 2008. “I was given a lot of opportunity here, and I’m thankful that I’ve taken advantage of it and thankful that they kept giving me opportunity. I hope that what I can do out on the field is worth them keeping me here.”

The Mariners sent former closer Brandon League to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a pair of prospects after Monday’s win then traded another reliever, Steve Delabar, to the Blue Jays for outfielder Eric Thames.

Toronto also acquired reliever Brad Lincoln from Pittsburgh for outfielder Travis Snider.

“We’re parting ways with a young, talented outfielder in Travis, who has still been trying to get established on an everyday basis in the big leagues,” manager John Farrell said. “We felt like we gave up a quality player to get a guy that has starting to come into his own in Lincoln.”

After the deadline, the Blue Jays are slated to give Aaron Laffey (2-1, 3.22) a chance to earn a third straight win.

The left-hander, who has made six starts this season, did not get a decision in a 10-4 victory over Oakland on Thursday. He gave up four runs, five hits and three walks over 5 2-3 innings.

“There were a lot more than a few mistakes,” Laffey told the team’s website. “I walked three guys, put myself in a bad position in that one inning. … Just fell behind some guys today and the defense picked me up big time.”

Laffey is 1-1 with a 3.53 ERA in six career starts against the Mariners but hasn’t faced them since Aug. 22, 2009.

Vargas is 0-3 with a 6.49 ERA in five career matchups with the Blue Jays but allowed two runs and four hits over six innings in a 7-2 loss in Toronto on April 29.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Laffey Col vs. J. Vargas KC
4-6 Record 14-11
4.56 ERA 3.85
48 K 141
37 BB 55
1.36 WHIP 1.18


Tuesday, Jul 31