Published May 03, 2013
| Sports Network
The Seattle Mariners haven't had much success outside of the Emerald City, but their luck could change with ace Felix Hernandez on the hill Friday in the opener of a three-game series versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Mariners have lost nine of their past 11 road games and are 4-9 overall as the guest. They hope Hernandez can change that when he makes his seventh start of the season north of the border. Hernandez is 2-1 with a 0.82 earned run average in his last three starts and made it two straight winning starts with Saturday's 3-2 victory over the LA Angels of Anaheim.
King Felix struck out seven and walked one, while allowing two runs -- one earned -- and five hits in eight innings. Hernandez, who threw six shutout innings the start before at Houston, is 3-2 with a 1.90 ERA on the season.
The right-hander and 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner is 2-1 in three road starts and 3-4 with a 5.13 ERA in nine career starts against the Blue Jays.
Seattle saw Aaron Harang earn his first win in a Mariners uniform in Wednesday's 8-3 triumph over the Baltimore Orioles in the finale of a three- game series. Harang permitted two runs in six innings, struck out five and issued one walk for the Mariners, who went 5-2 on the residency.
Michael Morse homered and owns three home runs and four RBI in his last four games, while batting .400 in that span. Kendrys Morales went 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, Michael Saunders added three hits, three runs and an RBI and Jason Bay knocked in a pair of runs for Seattle.
Bay is hitting .450 with six RBI and nine hits in the past six games.
"I feel like our guys have taken significant steps," said Seattle manager Eric Wedge. "What you're seeing now is more the norm in regard to what our guys are capable of."
The Blue Jays just dropped a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox and suffered a 3-1 loss in Thursday's finale.
Jays starter J.A. Happ was reached for two runs and three hits in 3 2/3 innings and walked seven batters to absorb the loss.
"There's a line between not giving in and making quality pitches, and I was constantly on the wrong side of that line tonight," Happ said.
Brett Lawrie homered and Colby Rasmus finished with three hits for Toronto, losers in six of seven games.
Josh Johnson was scheduled to start for the Blue Jays Friday but was placed on the disabled list with tightness in his right triceps muscle. So, Ricky Romero will make his season debut and was sent to the minor leagues after a shaky spring training. Romero had to work on his mechanics and went 9-14 with a 5.77 earned run average in 32 starts last season.
Romero has made 32 starts in each of the past three seasons and the left- hander is 1-3 with a 3.88 ERA in eight career starts against Seattle.
The Blue Jays lost six of nine matchups with the Mariners in 2012.