Jason Vargas may soon follow him out of town.
The left-hander has probably boosted his trade value with an impressive stretch of pitching, which means Thursday night's start against the Kansas City Royals could be his last in a Mariners uniform.
Seattle (43-57) seems unlikely to make another deal as significant as Monday's trade, which sent Suzuki to the New York Yankees . The Japanese star walked across to the visitors' clubhouse and helped the Yankees take two of three at Safeco this week.
With the Mariners a distant last in the AL West, they could opt to move some other pieces before Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline. Contenders may be interested in Vargas, who has won three straight starts and posted a 1.77 ERA while going unbeaten in his last five.
Vargas (10-7, 3.91 ERA) matched his career high in wins by beating Tampa Bay on Saturday, allowing only an unearned run in six innings of a 2-1 victory. It has certainly helped that he's gone at least six innings in 18 of his 21 starts.
"I'm excited and I want to win more," Vargas told the Mariners' official website.
Vargas has served up more homers (25) than any other pitcher in the majors, but he ended a streak of 12 straight starts giving up at least one Saturday. He won his third consecutive start against Kansas City with a 9-4 victory July 16 even though Billy Butler and Salvador Perez took him deep.
Butler hit his 20th homer Wednesday - he'll match his career-high total from 2009 with his next one - but the Royals (41-56) lost 11-6 to the Los Angeles Angels . It was their 10th defeat in 13 road games, and they're an AL-worst 6-15 overall in July.
Kansas City can't blame Luis Mendoza for its recent woes. The right-hander has posted four straight quality starts and six in seven outings since re-entering the rotation last month.
Mendoza (4-6, 4.31) pitched into the seventh inning of a 7-3 win over Minnesota on Saturday.
"I started up in the zone a little bit," he said. "I just tried to get some groundballs, get below. My job is to get groundballs. I just want to pitch my game, stay aggressive and try to win games."
Mendoza's groundball rate is at a career-best 69.1 percent, which would rank among the major league leaders if he had enough innings to qualify.
He should be eager to face a Seattle offense that has scored two runs or fewer in more than half of its home games (24 of 47). The Mariners are batting .193 at home after totaling three hits - all singles - in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Yankees.
"We hit the ball hard a few times, just right at the wrong guys," said first baseman Mike Carp , who is 0 for 6 since returning from the disabled list and 4 for 38 (.105) in Seattle this year. "Sometimes you do the right things and don't get rewarded."
Seattle totaled 31 runs in taking three of four at Kansas City last week. Jesus Montero was 10 for 17 with eight RBIs in that series.
|Kansas City Royals|
|July 05, 2012||Luke Hochevar||Day-to-Day||Sprained right ankle|
|June 18, 2012||Chris Getz||15-Day DL||Lateral strain in lower left leg|
|June 18, 2012||Chris Getz||15-Day DL||Lateral strain in lower left leg|
|June 07, 2012||Felipe Paulino||60-Day DL||Strained right groin|
|May 26, 2012||Jarrod Dyson||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right hamstring injury|
|May 22, 2012||Chris Getz||15-Day DL||Left ribcage contusion|
|July 18, 2012||Charlie Furbush||15-Day DL||Strained left triceps|
|July 01, 2012||Erasmo Ramirez||15-Day DL||Right elbow flexor strain|
|June 30, 2012||Erasmo Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Left game - leg injury|
|June 29, 2012||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Left Game-Head Injury|
|June 29, 2012||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|June 27, 2012||Kevin Millwood||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained right groin|
SEATTLE (AP) -- Jason Vargas is hearing discussions of his departure second-hand.
As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches, Vargas is doing plenty to get his name onto the tongues of general managers desperate for pitching down the stretch.
On Thursday night, Vargas allowed one hit over eight innings to win his career-high 11th game, and Mike Carp had three hits to help the Seattle Mariners beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1.
Vargas has grown as a pitcher since coming to Seattle after being acquired from the New York Mets in a three-team, 12-player trade Dec. 10, 2008. And, he doesn't want to leave.
"This has really been my first home in the big leagues," Vargas said. "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."
Vargas (11-7) allowed only a fourth-inning double - when Billy Butler swung at a 3-0 pitch - struck out five and walked three.
He retired the first 11 batters he faced before Butler's 200th career double drove in Lorenzo Cain in the fourth. Vargas had walked Cain, then fell behind 3-0 before Butler drilled a fastball to the gap in left-center.
Kansas City did not get a runner to second base against Vargas after the fourth inning. He's taken the mound following a Mariners loss in 14 of his 22 starts this season and has a 10-2 record with a 2.76 ERA in those games. He's 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA in five July starts.
"Obviously it means you're doing all right if they're talking about other teams wanting you, but this is where I want to stay," Vargas said.
Kansas City starter Luis Mendoza (4-7) pitched five innings, allowing nine hits and four earned runs with three walks and a hit batter.
Tom Wilhelmsen pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 14 opportunities.
Consecutive sixth-inning doubles from Miguel Olivo and Carlos Peguero pushed Seattle's lead to 4-1. After getting ahead of Brendan Ryan 0-2, Mendoza walked Ryan on four consecutive breaking balls in the dirt, one of which was a wild pitch that moved Peguero to third. That ended Mendoza's night and put the Mariners in business with first and third and no outs.
But, left-hander Jose Mijares came in to strike out Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders , before getting a ground ball from Casper Wells to get out of the jam.
Mendoza found trouble early when the Mariners piled three hits and a hit batter together for two runs in the first. Carp's single up the middle with the bases loaded scored Ackley and John Jaso for a 2-0 lead.
It also continued a trend of the Mariners jumping on teams early. Seattle has scored in the first inning in six of its last seven games.
Carp snapped an 0-for-7 streak with his first hit since his July 24 return from Triple-A Tacoma.
Ackley's hard single to start the game snapped his 0-for-20 streak. He finished the night 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored.
Carp hit .286 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs after the All-Star break last year. He was slowed this year after separating his right shoulder during Seattle's opening series in Japan.
"I've got two months to prove I'm past the injury and prove last year wasn't a fluke," Carp said.
The two hits were a season-low for Kansas City.
"We just couldn't get anything going," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "Going into the ninth inning, I was glad I gave Billy the 3-0 green light. That was our only hit."
Mendoza recorded three outs on four pitches in the third inning.
NOTES: Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma has left the team until Saturday for personal reasons. Iwakuma returned to his native Japan and will not miss a start, according to manager Eric Wedge . ... . Jeff Francoeur picked up an assist after losing a fly ball in the sun in the first when he threw to second to get a fielder's choice out. The mistake gave him the major league-lead in assists with 12.