Mariners Game Notes: M’s Hope to Stave Off Canadian Invasion


The Seattle Mariners (44-52) will play host the Toronto Blue Jays (49-48) in the first game of a 3-game weekend series on Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Root Sports Northwest will broadcast the game locally, and subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

Tonight’s game will be the first at Safeco Field since the All-Star break, and it is fitting that Felix Hernandez (11-5, 2.77 ERA) will get the ball for the home side. Drew Hutchison was originally expected to toe the rubber for the Blue Jays, but a nasty stomach bug made him a last minute scratch. Marco Estrada (7-5, 3.22 ERA) will now make the start for Toronto.

Seattle won in 12 innings yesterday in Motown to split the 4-game series with the Tigers, and they gained some valuable ground in the American League West. The big win allowed the Mariners to leapfrog the A’s, taking sole possession of 4th place in the AL West. The M’s now trail the division leading Los Angeles Angels by 10.5 games.

Mariners’ skipper Lloyd McClendon and Blue Jays’ boss John Gibbons have released the following lineups for tonight’s series lid-lifter:

Jul 3, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison (20) as he scores a two run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Pick to Click

The Mariners had little trouble scoring runs this week in Detroit, and nearly everyone on the roster made important contributions. Mike Zunino had a great series, and Robinson Cano‘s resurrection continues to provide hope for fans. However, Logan Morrison missed the party. A month ago, LoMo was hitting .261, but after posting a .137 batting average over his last 30 games, Morrison is now hitting a meager .223 on the season. I am hopeful that facing Marco Estrada is the medicine he needs to get back on track. The 27-year-old is 2 for 7 with a triple, 1 home run and 4 RBI’s against the veteran right-hander during his career. I am predicting LoMo will collect 2 hits tonight, and club a key home run in his first at bat to get the Seattle offense rolling.

Final Score Prediction

The Mariners swept the Blue Jays last season in Seattle, and I am expecting the same result this time around. That series effectively killed the Jays’ playoff aspirations, and propelled the M’s into the wildcard race. Toronto always struggles at Safeco Field, and facing King Felix tonight does not bode well in their attempt to buck this trend. This is an important series for the Mariners, as it likely will determine their strategy at the upcoming trade deadline on July 31st. The pitching really let this team down in Detroit, and the Blue Jays’ prodigious offense could be problematic. However, I am optimistic that the M’s will get a quality start from Felix, and edge Toronto 4-2 in the series opener on Friday night.

Next: Mariners Trade Target: Jonathan Lucroy

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