MLB Game Preview - Mariners v Blue Jays

 
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  W: A. Bass (2-4)   L: T. Mayza (1-2)   S: M. Magill (1)
12:07 PM PT1:07 PM MT2:07 PM CT3:07 PM ET15:07 ET19:07 GMT3:07 12:07 PM MST2:07 PM EST2:37 PM VEN23:07 UAE2:07 PM CT, August 17, 2019
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario  Attendance: 22,073

Pitching a concern for Mariners as they face Jays

According to STATS
According to STATS

Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays

  1. The Blue Jays concluded a stretch of 20 games in 20 days with a 12-8 record following Wednesday's 7-3 loss to the Rangers. Toronto is 3-0-2 in its past five series and now faces the Mariners, a team it has won 10 of 14 against since the start of 2017.
  2. The Mariners defeated the Tigers 7-2 on Thursday to win their first road series since taking two of three at Milwaukee from June 25-27. Seattle has won just three of 12 games overall since July 31 to tie for the fewest wins in MLB in that span.
  3. Bo Bichette's 16 extra-base hits in the first 17 games of his career are more than any player ever. His 27 hits through 17 game are the most in Blue Jays' history and tied for the fifth-most in MLB since 2000. With Bichette in the lineup, Toronto is averaging 5.9 runs per game after averaging 4.4 without him.
  4. Kyle Seager is batting .406 (13-for-32) with five home runs and 12 RBI during a nine-game hitting streak. Since July 25, he's fourth in the AL with a .387 (24-for-62) average and third with a 1.280 OPS (min. 50 PA).
  5. Toronto leads MLB in opponent batting average in August (.226) after entering the month ranked 23rd (.265). The Blue Jays' starters have allowed only eight home runs this month, tied for the fewest in the AL during that span (Mariners, Rangers).
  6. Austin Nola's .303 (33-for-109) batting average is the fifth-highest by a Mariners player in his first 42 games since 2000. He ranks third the AL in average among rookies this season (minimum 100 PA).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 8/16/2019 thru 8/18/2019

The Toronto Blue Jays can clinch their second straight home series Saturday with a victory over the Seattle Mariners.

The Blue Jays took the opener of the three-game set Friday night 7-3 and set a club record when they hit back-to-back homers in the third inning for the 12th time this season. The Jays, who won two of three from the Texas Rangers this week, belted four homers Friday.

Toronto will start right-hander Trent Thornton (4-8, 5.34 ERA) Saturday with right-hander Reggie McClain (0-0, 4.50 ERA) opening for the Mariners.

Neither pitcher has faced the opposition before.

The teams have been going in different directions recently with the Blue Jays having won 12 of their past 18 while the Mariners have dropped 10 of 13.

Toronto's Bo Bichette was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Friday and failed to reach base safely for the first time in his major league career. He entered the game on a 17-game on-base streak, the second-longest streak in history to open a career for a player 21 or younger.

The Mariners will be trying to piece their pitching together over the final two games of the first series between the teams this season.

McClain made his major league debut Aug. 2 after being selected from Triple-A Tacoma, and he will be making his fourth appearance for the Mariners. His best outing was Aug. 10, when he threw three scoreless innings against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Mariners manager Scott Servais said he hopes to get one or two innings from McClain. "And kind of match it up as we go from there," Servais said. "He'll be fine."

Zac Grotz and Erik Swanson are other candidates to pitch Saturday.

It could be more interesting on Sunday to see if the Mariners have enough fresh relievers for the series finale.

"We'll patch it together," Servais said. "It'll be fine. It'll be fun. We'll be creative with it and see what we can do."

The Mariners used Matt Wisler as an opener Friday for the second game in a row, then got seven innings from Wade LeBlanc, who gave up seven runs, in the loss to the Blue Jays.

Thornton, who has been inconsistent this season, is coming off a good start against the New York Yankees on Sunday in a 1-0 loss. He allowed one run, three hits and one walk while striking out six in six innings.

The Blue Jays claimed catcher Beau Taylor off waivers from the Oakland Athletics on Friday and optioned him to Triple-A Buffalo. The 29-year-old will provide catching depth behind Danny Jansen, who homered Friday night, and Reese McGuire. Luke Maile, who shared the catching with Jansen, is on the injured list with an oblique strain with no timeframe set for his return.

"That will give us protection in case one of our guys gets hurt," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said.

Montoyo will determine how his two young catchers will be used for the rest of the season.

"It could be Danny Jansen, two, McGuire, one. On a day game like Sunday, whoever catches Saturday will not catch on Sunday; kind of like that," Montoyo said. "They've both been playing."

Jansen appeared in his 92nd game of the season on Friday and has turned things around after a slow start at the plate, with his average up to .217 after he collected six hits over his past three games. He likely will get more playing time down the stretch.

--Field Level Media

Updated August 17, 2019

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