The Mariners defeated the Blue Jays in the first game of a five-game road trip to Canada and Pittsburgh Friday by a final score of 4-0. Felix Hernandez improved to 4-2 with eight shutout innings. He defeated Ricky Romero in Romero’s season debut. Romero only lasted four innings.
- Felix registered his 66th career start of eight or more innings with two or fewer runs allowed. Since his 2005 debut, he leads the major leagues in that obscure yet impressive category (Per: @Mariners).
- Kyle Seager went 3-for-4, raising his average to .304 on the young season. This is interesting, because in case you haven’t noticed, Mariners’ players don’t typically hit .300 since Ichiro stopped doing so. Also, Seager’s second hit was a first pitch, upper-tank home run off of Romero, his fourth of the year. It was absolutely destroyed, and was his third homer of the year against left-handed pitchers.
- Jason Bay hit an opposite field shot in the sixth inning to extend the Mariner lead to four. It marked Bay’s third blast of the year, and showed that Bay still has some of the power that allowed him to average 29 home runs in a six year period in his prime. The Bay over Casper Wells decision continues to look better and better for Jack Zdurencik.
- With the bases loaded and one man out in the fourth inning, Dustin Ackley fell behind Romero 0-2. Instead of wildly hacking to stay alive, a la 2012 Ackley, he patiently took three pitches, including a tempting 1-2 breaking ball. He then ripped a 3-2 fastball through the whole for an RBI single. Another base hit later on raised his average to .255, and he’s slowly but surely becoming a viable part of the lineup again.
- Initially, Hisashi Iwakuma was supposed to be starting tomorrow’s game for the M’s. Then early in the week, Eric Wedge announced Joe Saunders would swap spots and make an early start because of Iwakuma’s nagging blister. Earlier today, Wedge changed his mind, saying Iwakuma would in fact make his regularly scheduled start. Maybe there was some gamesmanship involved here, but the takeaway is that Iwakuma is still healthy enough to pitch on his regular timetable. Thanks for the distraction, Wedge.
Iwakuma takes on reigning NL Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey tomorrow at 10:07 a.m. PT.