Toronto at Seattle

Scoreboard
Toronto (63-59)000000000070
Seattle (65-55) «20000000x271

Morales, Iwakuma help Mariners beat Blue Jays 2-0

By JOSH LIEBESKIND
Associated Press
  •  

SEATTLE (AP) With the Seattle Mariners making a push for their first playoff appearance since 2001, Kendrys Morales might be the perfect hitter to help make it happen.

Morales, acquired from Minnesota before the trade deadline, hit a two-run home run in the first inning to back a stellar start by Hisashi Iwakuma and lead the Mariners to a 2-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

Morales' homer was his second in three at-bats, a span that started Tuesday night, and helped Seattle complete a sweep of the three-game series. Morales has four extra-base hits in three games, twice what he recorded in his first 15 games with the club since joining the team.

''He brought it as soon as he got here - respectability, stretch the lineup out,'' Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''He hasn't got the results he wanted, but I was happy to see him in there right from the start.''

Iwakuma (11-6) failed to finish seven innings for the first time in eight starts, but the right-hander still struck out five without issuing a walk in 6 2-3 innings. It is the seventh time in that stretch Iwakuma has allowed two runs or fewer.

''It's a big series,'' Iwakuma said through an interpreter. ''Winning two ... was big and I needed to finish up the series strong.''

Three relievers bridged the gap to closer Fernando Rodney, who earned his 35th save in 38 chances. The Mariners won eight of nine on their homestand and remained tied with Detroit for the American League's second wild card.

The Blue Jays lost for the ninth time in 12 games to drop three games behind the final playoff berth.

''We have been streaky, both good and bad, and we are due for a good one,'' Toronto starter R.A. Dickey said.

Dickey (9-12) was shaky at times, but only allowed two runs and seven hits with four walks in six innings.

The Mariners threatened on numerous occasions to extend the lead, but Dickey was able to strand at least two runners three separate times. The third proved to be the veteran's greatest escape act, perhaps, as he avoided a one-out runners-on-the-corners situation by inducing a double-play grounder.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: OF Michael Saunders will return to Triple-A Tacoma to continue his rehab assignment after leaving the team to attend the birth of his second child, a son. Saunders, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique, will need more at-bats in the minors before rejoining the Mariners.

Blue Jays: 1B Edwin Encarnacion (strained right quadriceps) went 1 for 4 while playing all nine innings in the field on Wednesday for Triple-A Buffalo, which keeps him on track to rejoin the team on Friday in Chicago.

UP NEXT

Mariners: Seattle looks to continue its strong play in Detroit on Friday as left-hander James Paxton, 5-0 in his career, makes the start.

Blue Jays: After a miserable start to an eight-game road swing, Toronto will get a day off before attempting to capture its first win of the trip against the White Sox.

MORALES HITS TORONTO

Morales is hitting .440 (11 for 25) with two home runs and six RBI against the Blue Jays this year, and is just .198 (39 for 197) against all other teams.

SHUTDOWN PITCHING

The Mariners extended their club record to 12 consecutive games allowing three runs or fewer. Their previous high was nine games, done from June 1-11, 2009.

ROAD BLUES

The Blue Jays have lost six straight road games and have five more on the trip before returning to Toronto.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Players of the Game
Seattle

K. Morales
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Seattle

H. Iwakuma
IP 6.2
H 5
ER 0
BB 1
K 5
 

Related Video

December 23, 2014
Fantasy Update: Russell Wilson (0:35)
December 22, 2014
Rams at Seahawks Preview
(3:23)
December 16, 2014
La Canfora previews Seahawks at Cardinals
(3:43)
December 23, 2014
Jim Rome: Dez Bryant's contract
(3:09)

CBSSports.com Shop

Mens Chicago Cubs Nike Royal Blue Classic Pullover Hoodie

MLB Cold Weather Gear
Get your favorite team
Shop Now

Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Jose Reyes, SS4020022.289.338.411
Melky Cabrera, LF4000012.314.370.475
Jose Bautista, RF4010020.294.409.516
Adam Lind, 1B4020001.319.385.481
Dioner Navarro, DH-C4000002.270.308.382
Colby Rasmus, CF4010010.222.285.437
Munenori Kawasaki, 2B3010112.270.322.313
Juan Francisco, 3B4000022.221.293.468
Josh Thole, C2000000.262.339.291
   a-Danny Valencia, PH0000100.289.335.389
   Brett Cecil, P0000000.000.000.000
   b-Anthony Gose, PH1000011.234.333.291
R.A. Dickey, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals34070210    
a-walked for Thole in the 7th
b-struck out for Cecil in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jose Reyes (24, Iwakuma)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Kawasaki-Reyes-Lind, Kawasaki-Reyes-Lind-Reyes-Kawasaki-Lind
PB - Josh Thole (6)
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
R.A. Dickey (L,9-12) 6722421 3.95
Brett Cecil 2000020 3.69
IBB - Morales by R.A. Dickey
WP - R.A. Dickey (3)
Pitches-Strikes - R.A. Dickey 99-64, Brett Cecil 25-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R.A. Dickey 5-8, Brett Cecil 2-2
Batters Faced - R.A. Dickey 26, Brett Cecil 6
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Austin Jackson, CF4110001.270.329.384
Dustin Ackley, LF3010101.252.298.385
Robinson Cano, 2B4010002.329.397.469
Kendrys Morales, DH3122100.225.261.333
Kyle Seager, 3B3000114.275.344.476
Chris Denorfia, RF3020000.239.291.309
Logan Morrison, 1B3000012.226.281.354
Mike Zunino, C3000010.212.264.433
Brad Miller, SS1000100.200.273.323
   a-Chris Taylor, PH-SS1000010.367.407.469
Hisashi Iwakuma, P0000000.000.500.000
   Charlie Furbush, P0000000.000.000.000
   Danny Farquhar, P0000000.000.000.000
   Yoervis Medina, P0000000.000.000.000
   Fernando Rodney, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals2827244    
a-struck out for Miller in the 7th
Batting
HR - Kendrys Morales (3, Dickey)
RBI - Kendrys Morales 2 (28)
2-OUT RBI - Kendrys Morales 2 (9)
CS - Chris Denorfia (2, 2nd base by Dickey/Thole)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Brad Miller (15, Throwing)
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Hisashi Iwakuma (W,11-6) 6.2500150 2.72
Charlie Furbush 0000100 3.71
Danny Farquhar (H,10) 0.1000010 2.66
Yoervis Medina (H,19) 1100020 2.18
Fernando Rodney (S,35) 1100020 2.31
WP - Hisashi Iwakuma (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Hisashi Iwakuma 101-61, Charlie Furbush 5-1, Danny Farquhar 4-3, Yoervis Medina 14-10, Fernando Rodney 15-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hisashi Iwakuma 9-6, Yoervis Medina 1-0
Batters Faced - Hisashi Iwakuma 26, Charlie Furbush 1, Danny Farquhar 1, Yoervis Medina 4, Fernando Rodney 4
Game Information
Attendance - 32368
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Ben May, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Quinn Wolcott, Third Base - Dale Scott