The Toronto Blue Jays need one victory for their longest winning streak of the season and a healthy Brandon Morrow could help them achieve it.
Morrow will try to lead the Blue Jays to a fifth consecutive win while earning his fourth in as many starts against his former team, the Seattle Mariners , on Tuesday night.
Toronto (64-75) hasn't taken five in a row since July 8-15, 2011, but is in position to match that streak following a three-game sweep in Boston over the weekend. Omar Vizquel drove in a pair of runs in a 4-3 victory Sunday, including the go-ahead one on a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Morrow (8-5, 2.94 ERA) will try to deliver another win while building on a pair of solid outings. He's given up a combined three runs in those games while pitching at least six innings in each.
The right-hander allowed two runs and three hits over six in a 6-4 victory over Baltimore on Wednesday, though he didn't get the decision. It was the second time he faced the Orioles in three games since returning from a strained left oblique Aug. 25.
Morrow, who needed 2 1/2 months to recover from that injury, has struck out 18 in 17 1-3 innings over those three starts.
"Just to kind of regain the same confidence and feeling, especially with the secondary pitches that I had earlier in the season," Morrow told the team's website about his goal for the rest of the year. "I'm feeling that now. I'm feeling like I came back in pretty much the same spot."
Morrow has 28 strikeouts in three career matchups with the Mariners (67-74), posting a 1.89 ERA while winning all three games against the team that drafted him fifth overall in 2006. He struck out nine and walked none in six innings of a 7-0 home victory over Seattle on April 28.
His former club was outscored 16-4 in three consecutive losses to Oakland over the weekend. The Mariners scored two or fewer runs seven times during their nine-game homestand and batted .156 with runners in scoring position, including a 1-for-10 performance in a 4-2 loss Sunday.
"We're getting our hits but we're not doing any damage with them, whether it's stringing hits together or extra-base hits," manager Eric Wedge said. "We need multiple guys in the lineup stringing it together or doing some damage just to loosen things up a little bit."
Erasmo Ramirez (0-2, 3.69) will make his first start since June 30 for Wedge's club and first against the Blue Jays. The rookie right-hander was sent to the minors after recovering from an injury to his pitching elbow.
Before leaving his start against Boston on the final day of June, Ramirez struck out 10 in eight innings of a 1-0 loss to Oakland on June 25.
He'll try to lead Seattle to its third win in 13 games in Toronto. The Mariners dropped two of three there April 27-29 but swept a three-game home series with the Blue Jays from July 30-Aug. 1.
|August 31, 2012||Michael Saunders||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained groin|
|August 25, 2012||Michael Saunders||Day-to-Day||Sore groin|
|August 13, 2012||Mike Carp||15-Day DL||Strained left groin muscle|
|August 13, 2012||Mike Carp||15-Day DL||Strained left groin muscle|
|August 06, 2012||Brendan Ryan||Day-to-Day||Left elbow contusion|
|July 18, 2012||Charlie Furbush||15-Day DL||Strained left triceps|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|September 04, 2012||J.A. Happ||15-Day DL||Fractured right foot|
|August 27, 2012||Henderson Alvarez||Day-to-Day||Left game - left shin contusion|
|August 27, 2012||Aaron Laffey||Day-to-Day||Left game - left calf contusion|
|August 26, 2012||Jose Bautista||15-Day DL||Left wrist inflammation|
|August 23, 2012||David Cooper||15-Day DL||Upper back soreness|
|August 22, 2012||David Cooper||Day-to-Day||Left game - jammed neck|
TORONTO (AP) -- Smiling wide after his first major league win, Erasmo Ramirez was on a mission to track down a memento from his milestone moment.
Kyle Seager homered and came within a triple of the cycle, Ramirez pitched seven sharp innings and the Seattle Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Tuesday night.
"Erasmo pitched a fantastic ballgame," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "He did a great job with his fastball, mixed in his changeup as the game wore on and had a good breaking ball."
Starting for the first time since June 30, Ramirez (1-2) allowed two runs and six hits, setting down nine straight at one stretch. He walked one and struck out six.
"I was so happy with the last out, the 27th," Ramirez said. "I was waiting for that since I got here."
Ramirez, however, was still waiting for one more thing: an important keepsake.
"I went looking for the lineup," he said. "I don't know where it is, but I'm going to find it."
Four relievers combined to work the eighth and Tom Wilhelmsen closed it for his 25th save in 28 chances as Seattle snapped a three-game losing streak.
Seager went 3 for 5. He had an RBI single in the first, doubled and scored in the third and homered in the fifth, his 18th.
"He's had big hits at big times for us," Wedge said of Seager, who leads the team with 81 RBIs.
The victory was Seattle's 68th, one more than they had last season. The Mariners finished with 14 hits, five for extra bases.
"We swung the bats really well," 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."
Most of the damage came off Toronto's Brandon Morrow (8-6), who matched a career high by allowing 11 hits as the Blue Jays failed to extend their winning streak to five games.
Morrow came in 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three career starts against the team that drafted him, but was in trouble from the start, giving up two runs and four hits in a shaky first inning. Seager singled home the first run and, two batters later, Michael Saunders made it 2-0 with a hit to left. John Jaso tried to score from second on the play, but was thrown out at the plate by Rajai Davis .
"We were ready for the fastball," Gutierrez said of Seattle's approach to Morrow. "He's a power pitcher and obviously we need to get on the fastball first and that's what we did."
Morrow, who allowed four runs in 4 2-3 innings, conceded that that Mariners had feasted on his fastball.
"The only thing that kept that from being eight runs was probably my changeup," he said. "I had a decent changeup and was able to keep them off-balance a little bit that way."
While the Mariners may have focused on Morrow's fastball, Seager said that didn't necessarily make it any easier.
"His off speed is so good, you've kind of got to pick your poison because he throws 95, too," Seager said.
Toronto got one back off Ramirez in the bottom half on Yunel Escobar 's RBI single, but Adam Lind was thrown out trying to go from first to third, ending the rally.
Morrow got the Mariners in order in the second but ran into trouble again in the third. Jaso made it 3-1 with an RBI single but was thrown out on the bases by Davis for a second time when he tried to go from first to third on Jesus Montero 's single to left.
Seager's leadoff homer in the fifth made it 4-2, but the Blue Jays cut it to one with a run in the eighth. Colby Rasmus doubled off Charlie Furbush , who was replaced by Josh Kinney . Edwin Encarnacion flied out, with Rasmus advancing to third. Lucas Luetge came on to face pinch-hitter Moises Sierra , who hit an RBI groundout. Stephen Pryor took over for Luetge and ended the inning by striking out Escobar.
Seattle center fielder Franklin Gutierrez made a rare error on Kelly Johnson 's deep fly ball to begin the bottom of the seventh. For Gutierrez, the miscue was his first in 301 games. He had gone 846 chances without an error, an AL record for outfielders.
Wedge said Gutierrez couldn't recover after getting turned around on the play.
"It's just one of those things that happen, for him once in about three years," Wedge said.
NOTES: Blue Jays manager John Farrell said rookie RHP Chad Jenkins is being considered for a start in Toronto's doubleheader at Baltimore on Sept. 24. ... Toronto Police and Fire officials took part in pregame ceremonies to mark the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. .. Attendance was 12,935, Toronto's smallest crowd this season.