Mariners vie to break out brooms on Jays
(SportsNetwork.com) - An outstanding homestand has vaulted the Seattle Mariners into a tie for a wild card spot in the American League.
A rough month has the Toronto Blue Jays just on the outside of the playoff picture.
The Mariners shoot for a sweep of the Blue Jays on Wednesday night in the finale of a three-game set at Safeco Field.
Seattle has gone 7-1 on a homestand that concludes tonight, winning each of its last three games. The Mariners put together an 11-1 rout to win the opener of this set on Monday, then followed with last night's 6-3 victory.
The win moved the Mariners into a tie with the Detroit Tigers for the second wild card spot in the league, while Toronto's 3-8 record in August has it two games back of that spot.
The Blue Jays also have dipped 6 1/2 games behind Baltimore for first place in the AL East.
Kendrys Morales and Kyle Seager homered for Seattle in Tuesday's win, while Logan Morrison went 2-for-3 to push his hitting streak to a career high-tying 13 straight games.
Dustin Ackley added a two-run single and Chris Young yielded just two hits and a first-inning run over six solid frames. He also walked two in his 11th win of the season.
"He shut'em down pretty good after that," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon told his club's website. "I thought he threw extremely well. It was tough taking him out at 95 pitches, but we have to stay with our game plan and our bullpen has been so good. It just made sense to do that."
Though Seattle's bullpen yielded a pair of runs, McClendon was still rewarded with his 400th career victory.
J.A. Happ surrendered seven hits and five runs -- four earned -- over six innings for the Blue Jays, while Melky Cabrera had a pair of hits and an RBI.
"You have to slug in this business," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said on his team's website. "In the American League, that's what you do and we're not doing that. If everything's not perfect on the pitching staff, you're not throwing those games when you're not shutting them down, it makes it tough."
Gibbons hopes his club gets back to slugging it soon. Adam Lind returned from the 15-day disabled list last night and went 0-for-3 in his first major league action since July 7 because of a fractured right foot.
Meanwhile, Edwin Encarnacion is on track to be activated from the disabled list on Friday after sitting out with a strained right quadriceps muscle. He was hitting .277 with 26 homers and 70 RBI before getting hurt.
R.A. Dickey will try to help the Blue Jays salvage tonight's finale and is 9-11 on the year with a 3.99 earned run average.
The 39-year-old righty yielded five runs over seven innings in a loss to Houston on Aug. 2, snapping a two-start win streak. Dickey then faced off against Detroit on Friday and gave up two runs on five hits and four walks over six frames of a no-decision, striking out six.
Dickey is 4-2 with a 4.75 ERA in 11 meetings with Seattle, including just three starts.
Streaking right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma gets the call for the Mariners and has gone 2-1 in his last three outings with a 1.66 ERA.
Iwakuma picked up a win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday, giving up one run on a solo homer over seven frames. It marked the seventh straight outing in which he had gone at least seven innings and he did not walk a batter for the sixth time in eight outings despite not having his best stuff according to McClendon.
"He wasn't as sharp as he usually is, but he gave us seven sharp innings," Seattle's manager said. "He certainly knows how to pitch when he doesn't have his best stuff."
The 33-year-old moved to 10-6 with a 2.86 ERA on the year and is 2-1 in his career versus the Blue Jays with a 3.09 ERA in four meetings (3 starts).
Toronto split six matchups with the Mariners last season, while Seattle last swept the Blue Jays in three games at home from July 30-Aug. 1, 2012.
08/13 10:49:52 ET