Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell finally saw enough poor outings from Ricky Romero to give him an extended break.
Romero may gain more understanding of the strategy if he's able to avoid dropping a 13th consecutive decision when he faces the visiting Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.
After giving up seven runs and eight hits in a 9-4 loss to Tampa Bay on Sept. 2, Romero didn't offer an excuse for going 0-12 with a 7.98 ERA over his last 13 starts.
He got through the first inning, then let the first seven hitters reach in the second before being pulled in the shortest start of his career. It was enough for Farrell to skip the left-hander's scheduled start Saturday and give him some extra time off.
"I'm sure he's not fully pleased, and I'm sure he's not pleased by what has transpired over the last two and a half months," Farrell told the team's official website. "So when it's outlined that we're going to bump him a start and then keep him on extra rest, we feel like that's what we're doing based on what we see."
Romero (8-13, 5.85 ERA), whose ERA is the worst among qualified AL starters and who has a league-high 90 walks, wasn't happy with the decision.
"It's a little disappointing. The last thing I want to do is sit here in the dugout and just think about stuff," Romero said. "I want to get out there and I want to compete. But it is what it is, you've got to take it for what it's worth and move forward."
Romero has a loss to Seattle during his dismal stretch, giving up four runs - three earned - in six innings of a 4-1 defeat July 30 at Safeco Field. He's 1-2 with a 3.64 ERA in seven career starts versus the Mariners, who beat the Blue Jays 4-3 on Tuesday to exceed their win total from last season.
Kyle Seager fell a triple short of the cycle for Seattle (68-74), which ended a three-game losing streak.
''We swung the bats really well,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ''I would like to have seen us put a few more tallies up there, but that doesn't take away from the way we swung the bats. We had a lot of hits and a lot of hard outs.''
The Mariners will look for another solid performance Wednesday from Kevin Millwood.
After going 0-4 with a 5.97 ERA in six August starts, Millwood (5-12, 4.27) allowed one run and four hits in six innings of last Wednesday's 2-1 win over Boston.
"He threw the ball well," Wedge told the team's official website. "Always does a good job of moving the baseball back and forth on the plate. Just pitched a real good ballgame."
The veteran right-hander had a strong outing April 28 at Toronto, giving up three runs - one earned - in seven innings but suffered a 7-0 loss. He's lost his last four starts versus the Blue Jays with a 3.81 ERA, though he didn't receive a single run of support in each of the last three.
Toronto (64-76) will look to bounce back after missing an opportunity for a season-best fifth straight win. Colby Rasmus and Yunel Escobar each had two hits Tuesday.
The Mariners have won four straight meetings with the Blue Jays.