While the Seattle Mariners keep winning, they're also still dealing before the trade deadline. The Mariners will try to extend their season high winning streak to six games tonight in the continuation of a three-game series versus the Toronto Blue Jays at Safeco Field.
The Mariners sent fan favorite Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees last week, then traded reliever Brandon League to the Los Angeles Dodgers after last night's win for two minor league players. Seattle also sent relief pitcher Steve Delabar to the visiting Blue Jays for outfielder Eric Thames.
Seattle may also deal starting pitcher Jason Vargas before today's deadline and he's scheduled to throw this evening. Vargas has won four straight starts and brings an 11-7 record in 22 starts into Tuesday's affair along with a 3.76 earned run average. He is coming off eight innings of one-run ball in a 4-1 win over Kansas City on Thursday.
Vargas, a left-hander, lost at Toronto back on April 29 in a 7-2 setback and pitched well in defeat, allowing two runs in six innings. Vargas hasn't fared so well in five career starts against the Jays, going 0-3 with a 6.49 ERA.
Hisashi Iwakuma didn't seem to have any trouble with Toronto in last night's 4-1 win and racked up 13 strikeouts through eight innings. He allowed one run and four hits with three walks, while Josh Kinney and Lucas Luetge both worked the ninth to keep the Blue Jays off the board. Luetge earned his first save.
"He was fantastic tonight," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said about Iwakuma. "We really needed him to step up. We were very short in the bullpen tonight and for him to go eight strong innings like he did and pitch the way he did against a very good hitting ballclub, just a great performance."
Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager each had a pair of hits and an RBI for the Mariners, who are 6-2 on a 10-game homestand.
Toronto has dropped two in a row since a three-game winning streak and lost for the fourth time in seven tries on Monday.
Ricky Romero lost his seventh straight starts and gave up four runs -- three earned -- in six innings. He has received only one run of support over his lost streak. Rajai Davis homered off Iwakuma to account for Toronto's scoring.
"He was outstanding after the leadoff home run by Davis," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said about Iwakuma. "He dominated us after the first hitter of the game."
The Blue Jays made a few moves Monday by placing designated hitter Adam Lind on the 15-day disabled list and trading left fielder Travis Snider to Pittsburgh for pitcher Brad Lincoln. Thames, of course, switched clubhouses when the Mariners acquired him for Delabar.
Taking the mound for Toronto this evening will be Aaron Laffey. Laffey is 2-0 in his last three appearances and did not factor in the outcome of a 10-4 win over Oakland on Thursday, as he was reached for four runs in 5 2/3 frames. He is 2-1 on the season with a 3.22 ERA in 10 games (6 starts).
Toronto won two of three meetings with Seattle at home from April 27-29 this season and is 8-3 in the past 11 matchups between the clubs.