Blue Jays series preview vs. Seattle Mariners

Sep 20, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher Chris Iannetta (33) reacts after striking out looking against the Toronto Blue Jays to end the fourth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher Chris Iannetta (33) reacts after striking out looking against the Toronto Blue Jays to end the fourth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Blue Jays just won their second straight series for the first time on Wednesday night, against the Cleveland Indians in an ALCS rematch.

That 8-17 record of April has turned into a 5-4 record so far this month. The Toronto Blue Jays (13-21) head into the weekend with a four-game series against the Seattle Mariners (17-17) back at the Rogers Centre.

Toronto and Seattle have a lot in common right now. Both teams are finding ways to win without a majority of their lineup due to injuries. The supporting cast of the Blue Jays and Mariners have done their best and will continue to do that this weekend.

What You Need To Know

TV: Sportsnet

Radio: Sportsnet 590 The FAN

Probable Starters

Thursday, May 11 7:07 p.m. ET (Thursday Night in the 6 promotion)

RHP Chase De Jong (0-2, 6.75 ERA) vs. RHP Marco Estrada (1-2, 3.14 ERA)

Estrada is looking to rebound after allowing five earned runs and two home runs in his last start against Tampa Bay last weekend. He’s excellent for consistency this season as Estrada will look to improve his 1-3 record and 4.13 ERA against the Mariners in four career starts.

More from Jays Journal

De Jong had his start moved up after Hisashi Iwakuma went down with an injury. The 23-year old rookie is in his first year of the majors who pitched six innings against Texas last weekend. This will mark his first career start against the Blue Jays.

Friday, May 12 7:07 p.m. ET

RHP Christian Bergman (0-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. RHP Joe Biagini (0-1, 2.78 ERA)

Biagini is coming off his impressive first career start on Sunday. He gave up one earned run in four innings of work. Biagini threw 52 pitches on Sunday and could very well throw more in his next start.

Bergman moves into the rotation since four of the Mariners five starters are on the DL. The reliever gave up one run and a hit in his Mariners debut on Sunday. In 56 games, Bergman is 7-9 with a 5.71 ERA.

Saturday, May 13 1:07 p.m. ET

TBA vs. RHP Marcus Storman (3-2, 3.58 ERA)

Due to the injuries surrounding the Mariners, they have yet to announce a starter for Saturday’s game.

Stroman redeemed himself on Monday against Cleveland. He threw six scoreless innings but only struck out two batters in that game. Outside of his two rough outings against Boston and New York, Stroman continues to be a dominant pitcher.

Sunday, May 14 1:07 p.m. ET (Mothers Day/ Marco Estrada Bobblehead Day)

LHP Ariel Miranda (3-2, 5.20 ERA) vs. RHP Aaron Sanchez (0-1, 4.05 ERA) or RHP Mike Bolinger (0-1, 3.18 ERA). Miranda had a disastrous outing against Philadelphia on May 9. He allowed eight earned runs on six hits while striking out just one batter.

Sanchez could be back in the rotation this weekend. After throwing a successful bullpen session on Sunday, Sanchez is close to being healthy enough to start. If he doesn’t start, then Bolsinger will get his second start of the season.

Players To Watch

One right fielder has stepped up whereas the other right fielder is awfully cold. Jose Bautista finally hit his first home run at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday night. Outside of that, he has struggled at the plate. The36-year old is hitting just .177 with three home runs and 12 RBI to his name.

Ben Gamel has shown some promise since Mitch Haniger went on the 10-day DL list with an oblique injury. Gamel is currently hitting .373 with two home runs and 11 RBI.

Player Injuries

Toronto

3B Josh Donaldson (10-day DL strained right calf)

LHP J.A. Happ (10-day DL left elbow inflammation)

DH Kendrys Morales (Day-to-day  hamstring)

C Russell Martin (10-day DL nerve irritation, left shoulder)

OF Dalton Pompey (60-day DL concussion)

RHP Aaron Sanchez (10-day DL right middle finger blister)

RHP Bo Schultz (60-day DL torn right UCL- out for season)

RHP Glenn Sparkman (60-day DL fractured right thumb)

SS Troy Tulowitzki (10-day DL strained right hamstring)

Seattle

RHP Steve Cishek (10-day DL left hip surgery recovery)

LF Mitch Haniger (10-day DL oblique strain)

RHP Felix Hernandez (10-day DL right shoulder bursitis)

RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (10-day DL right shoulder inflammation)

RHP Evan Marshall (60-day DL strained right hamstring)

SS Shawn O’Malley 60-day DL right shoulder tendinitis)

LHP James Paxton (10-day DL strained left forearm)

RHP Evan Scribner (10-day DL right flexor bundle strain)

RHP Shae Simmons (60-day DL right forearm, flexor strain)

LHP Drew Smyly (60-day DL left arm flexor strain)

Next: Blue Jays: What to do with Ryan Goins

As noted above, the injury bug has taken a toll on both the Blue Jays and Mariners. They tied the season series last season 3-3. It may seem like a lot of insanity with the injuries, so this should be an interesting weekend of baseball.

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