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Seattle at Toronto

Venue: Rogers Centre
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The Seattle Mariners have silenced the slumping Toronto Blue Jays this weekend.

If Joe Saunders' latest outing is any indication, the Blue Jays could be in for another long day at the plate in Sunday's series finale.

Seeking a season-high fourth straight win, Seattle turns to Saunders as it tries to complete its first sweep in Toronto in 12 seasons.

After Felix Hernandez baffled the Blue Jays (10-21) in Friday's series opener, Hisashi Iwakuma outpitched R.A. Dickey in Saturday's 8-1 victory. Michael Saunders - a native of British Columbia - hit two homers and Dustin Ackley connected on a grand slam as the Mariners (15-17) cruised to their sixth win in seven games.

Seattle has compiled a 2.00 ERA over that stretch - nearly two runs lower than its season mark of 3.96.

The Mariners have also posted a 2.54 ERA in taking seven of eight from the Blue Jays, but they haven't swept them north of the border since winning all three matchups May 11-13, 2001.

While Seattle continues to roll, Toronto hasn't seen much go its way of late. The Blue Jays have lost eight of nine, including all four games this month by a 25-3 margin.

Third baseman Brett Lawrie saw his average drop back down to .197 after going 0 for 3 on Saturday. Slugging right fielder Jose Bautista is batting just .207.

"We're somewhat of a dysfunctional team right now," Dickey said. "We're kind of searching for a way to score runs, a way to pitch well. We're doing a lot of things poorly.

"We've got a group of great guys. And the chemistry in here, nobody is blaming other people. We're all trying to own what ours is to own in this. But we're not very good right now and everybody knows it."

Getting on track could prove difficult against Saunders (2-3, 5.25 ERA), who scattered four hits while throwing his eighth career complete game Monday in a 6-2 win over Baltimore.

"We knew what Joe was going to do," Orioles catcher Matt Wieters told MLB's official website. "Everyone sort of knows what Joe is going to do. That's why he's good and that's why he's pitched for so long. He's able to make the ball move late and get ground balls and get weak contact."

While Saunders improved to 2-0 with a 0.81 ERA at home, he's 0-3 with a 12.51 mark on the road.

"I don't know what's going on," he said. "I pride myself on being a good road pitcher, and haven't done that well this year. In my mind, I need to be a lot more consistent."

The left-hander, though, has won his last two starts at Rogers Centre while allowing two unearned runs over 14 1-3 innings. Edwin Encarnacion is 0 for 6 in their matchups and Bautista is 2 for 9.

The Blue Jays counter with Brandon Morrow (0-2, 5.29). The right-hander allowed three runs, six hits and three walks over five innings but didn't factor in the decision of Tuesday's 9-7 win over Boston.

Morrow, who spent the first three years of his career with Seattle, is 3-1 with a 3.04 ERA against his former team. He's struck out 32 in 23 2-3 innings during those outings.

Morrow will need to be wary of Jason Bay, who figures to be back in the lineup after getting the day off Saturday. The veteran left fielder is batting .435 with two homers and seven RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Probable Starters

Joe Saunders, LHP
2013 stats
36.0 Innings Pitched 32.1
2-3 Wins-Losses 0-2
5.25 Earned Run Average 5.29
13 Walks 12
14 Strikeouts 26
94 Pitches Per Start 96
Career vs. opponent
59.2 Innings Pitched 23.2
3-5 Wins-Losses 3-1
3.47 Earned Run Average 3.04

Brandon Morrow, RHP
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Seattle3rd AL West7362.5419 ½ 5-5 W 1
Toronto3rd AL East6967.50710 ½ 5-5 W 2
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Brandon Morrow
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Saunders53002.600
Seager116104.545
Bay21011.500
Ryan73014.429
Morales103113.300
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Joe Saunders
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Arencibia32001.667
Dickey21001.500
Izturis21000.500
Bonifacio136012.462
Lind114010.364
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Seattle 135 Toronto -145
Injuries
Seattle
PlayerInjury
B. BeavanShoulder
W. BloomquistKnee
C. HartKnee
M. SaundersBack
Toronto
PlayerInjury
M. IzturisKnee
D. JohnsonHamstring
B. LawrieBack
J. MayberryWrist
B. MorrowFinger
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Mar 31TBTB 9-2Price Dickey 
Apr 1TBTOR 4-2Hutchison Cobb 
Apr 2TBTOR 3-0Buehrle Moore 
Apr 3TBTB 7-2Archer Morrow 
May 26TORTOR 10-5Hutchison Bedard 
May 27TORTOR 9-6Buehrle Cobb 
May 28TORTOR 3-2Loup Oviedo 
Jul 11TBTOR 8-5Loup Balfour 
Jul 12TBTB 10-3Odorizzi Hutchison 
Jul 13TBTB 3-0Price Dickey 
Aug 22TORTB 8-0Smyly Stroman 
Aug 23TORTOR 5-4McGowan Peralta 
Aug 24TORTB 2-1McGee Santos 
Sep 2TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 3TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 4TB 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 12TOR 7:07 PM EDT  
Sep 13TOR 1:07 PM EDT  
Sep 14TOR 1:07 PM EDT