Mariners look to seal rivalry series against Blue Jays

Mariners look to seal rivalry series against Blue Jays


For teams that play more than 2,000 miles apart, the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays have a fervent rivalry

Perhaps it’s because the Blue Jays have been more successful than their 1977 expansion brethren, winning two World Series titles while the Mariners remain the only franchise to have never played in one

As the lone Canadian franchise in the major leagues, the Blue Jays draw thousands of fans from the Western provinces whenever they travel to Seattle, making so much noise it’s sometimes hard to determine which is the home team

The teams continue their current three-game series on Saturday afternoon in Seattle.

The Mariners swept a four-game home series against Toronto last July, and a few days later, the Blue Jays dismissed manager Charlie Montoyo. The teams met in an American League wild-card series last October in Toronto, with the Mariners erasing a seven-run deficit to complete a sweep of the best-of-three set

This weekend’s series sparked some controversy when a picture circulated on social media Monday of an entire rack at the Mariners‘ team store that was devoted to Blue Jays jerseys and shirts — notably Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who won the All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby on July 10 in Seattle after eliminating hometown hero Julio Rodriguez

Mariners fans — and players — were not pleased

“What the hell is this @MarinersStore,” Mariners closer Paul Sewald tweeted, followed by a red-faced, cursing emoji

“Damn smh,” Seattle shortstop J.P. Crawford wrote, including a facepalm emoji.

The Mariners‘ front office claimed it was just a misunderstanding

“Following the All-Star Game we had a limited amount of leftover merchandise from different (mostly AL) teams,” a team spokesperson said in a statement. “The Blue Jays merchandise in question has now been removed from the team store.

The Mariners rallied for a 3-2 victory in the series opener, with Teoscar Hernandez knocking in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning against his former team

Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano took the loss

“You got your best guys in there and you feel good about those guys and they’ve performed so well the entire season,” Toronto manager John Schneider said. “You have all the faith and trust in the world in those guys. And (Hernandez) hit a pitch that was up in the zone a little bit.”

Hernandez lined a single high off the right field wall to score Jose Caballero from third. As soon as Hernandez reached first base, he spiked his helmet in celebration.

“I was enjoying every single bit I could enjoy, especially because we win the game,” Hernandez said. “For me, that’s what matters and the emotions just came through.”

Saturday’s pitching matchup features a pair of right-handers, Blue Jays All-Star Kevin Gausman (7-5, 3.03 ERA) and the Mariners‘ Logan Gilbert (8-5, 3.65)

Gausman, who will be making his first appearance since the All-Star break, is 0-2 over his past three starts despite pitching to a 2.65 ERA in that span. Most recently, he took a 2-0 loss at Detroit on July 8 after allowing just two runs on five hits in six innings.

Gausman is 1-3 with a 2.38 ERA in nine career games (eight starts) against the Mariners. He got a no-decision in the Blue Jays‘ 1-0 home victory over Seattle on April 29 when he pitched seven innings, allowed six hits and struck out a career-high 13 batters. He matched that mark with 13 K’s against the Houston Astros last month

Gilbert has won his past three starts. He beat the visiting Minnesota Twins 7-6 on Monday, allowing two runs on seven hits over five innings. He is 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA in three previous starts against the Blue Jays

–Field Level Media


Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.