American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, August 1st (All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (51-52) at Seattle Mariners (49-57), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Carlos Villanueva (6-0, 2.92) Seattle - Blake Beavan (6-6, 4.70)
(Sports Network) - The surging Seattle Mariners aim for a seventh consecutive win and sweep of Toronto on Wednesday when they face the red-hot Carlos Villanueva in the finale of a three-game set at Safeco Field.
Jason Vargas tossed seven strong innings to lead the Mariners on Tuesday during a 7-2 victory in the middle test of the series. Vargas (12-7) allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk to win his fifth straight start.
"It's been great, definitely nice to go out there and see runs on the board early," said Vargas. "It's my job to keep it where it's at and not give it up. We've been scoring a lot lately and I hope we keep scoring."
Dustin Ackley homered and knocked in three runs for the Mariners, who extended their season-high win streak to six games.
Aaron Laffey (2-2) gave up seven runs on nine hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings for Toronto, which dropped its third consecutive game.
Brett Lawrie supplied the offense for the Blue Jays with a two-run double in the third inning.
"They (Mariners) did a good job stringing some hits together," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Whether they were line drives or balls through the hole, they were able to bunch some hits together and once again we find ourselves down early in the game and it eliminates some of the aggressiveness we might otherwise look to use."
The surprising Villanueva, making his first career start versus the Mariners, will try to stop the bleeding for Toronto on Wednesday. The right-hander is a perfect 6-0 on the season and is 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA in five games since joining the rotation in late June.
"What he has shown is that he is going to keep the game under control," Farrell said. "He sets the tone. He throws strikes and is capable of making the key pitch."
Blake Beavan, another hot starter, will take the hill for the M's. The big righty has won all three of his starts since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on July 17 and has given up just one run in each of his last two outings, including a 6-1 win over Kansas City last Friday.
"I'm pleased, but I'm not satisfied," Beavan told Seattle's website. "I want to keep building on each start and get back to where I need to be, which is competing and getting deep in the game and giving our guys a chance to win."
Beavan is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts against the Blue Jays.
Toronto won two of three meetings with Seattle at home from April 27-29 this season and is 8-4 in the past 12 matchups between the clubs.
08/01 10:30:39 ET