Mariners-Blue Jays Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 10, 2012
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The Toronto Blue Jays need one victory for their longest winning streak of the season and a healthy Brandon Morrow could help them achieve it. Morrow will try to lead the Blue Jays to a fifth consecutive win while earning his fourth in as many starts against his former team, the Seattle Mariners, on Tuesday night. Toronto (64-75) hasn't taken five in a row since July 8-15, 2011, but is in position to match that streak following a three-game sweep in Boston over the weekend. Omar Vizquel drove in a pair of runs in a 4-3 victory Sunday, including the go-ahead one on a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Morrow (8-5, 2.94 ERA) will try to deliver another win while building on a pair of solid outings. He's given up a combined three runs in those games while pitching at least six innings in each. The right-hander allowed two runs and three hits over six in a 6-4 victory over Baltimore on Wednesday, though he didn't get the decision. It was the second time he faced the Orioles in three games since returning from a strained left oblique Aug. 25. Morrow, who needed 2 1/2 months to recover from that injury, has struck out 18 in 17 1-3 innings over those three starts. "Just to kind of regain the same confidence and feeling, especially with the secondary pitches that I had earlier in the season," Morrow told the team's website about his goal for the rest of the year. "I'm feeling that now. I'm feeling like I came back in pretty much the same spot." Morrow has 28 strikeouts in three career matchups with the Mariners (67-74), posting a 1.89 ERA while winning all three games against the team that drafted him fifth overall in 2006. He struck out nine and walked none in six innings of a 7-0 home victory over Seattle on April 28. His former club was outscored 16-4 in three consecutive losses to Oakland over the weekend. The Mariners scored two or fewer runs seven times during their nine-game homestand and batted .156 with runners in scoring position, including a 1-for-10 performance in a 4-2 loss Sunday. "We're getting our hits but we're not doing any damage with them, whether it's stringing hits together or extra-base hits," manager Eric Wedge said. "We need multiple guys in the lineup stringing it together or doing some damage just to loosen things up a little bit." Erasmo Ramirez (0-2, 3.69) will make his first start since June 30 for Wedge's club and first against the Blue Jays. The rookie right-hander was sent to the minors after recovering from an injury to his pitching elbow. Before leaving his start against Boston on the final day of June, Ramirez struck out 10 in eight innings of a 1-0 loss to Oakland on June 25. He'll try to lead Seattle to its third win in 13 games in Toronto. The Mariners dropped two of three there April 27-29 but swept a three-game home series with the Blue Jays from July 30-Aug. 1.
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