Left-hander Marco Gonzales will face another tough mound opponent on Wednesday night when the visiting Seattle Mariners attempt to avoid a three-game sweep by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Gonzales (1-4, 3.38 ERA) will face right-hander Kevin Gausman (3-2, 2.40), who is out to give the Blue Jays their first series sweep of the season.
Gonzales faced New York Mets ace Max Scherzer on Friday, and neither factored in to the decision during the Mariners’ 2-1 victory. Gonzales matched Scherzer, allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Scherzer gave up one earned run in seven innings.
“That was vintage Marco Gonzales (Friday) — awesome job,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Obviously the Mets are playing good baseball. He came in and really competed his tail off, going back and forth with the fastball and changeup and kept them off balance.”
Gonzales will need more of the same against the Blue Jays on Wednesday. He last faced them on Aug. 25, 2019, when he allowed one run and three hits over seven innings. He is 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA in two career starts vs. the Jays.
Gonzales also will need help from the Mariners’ hitters, who were shut out for the sixth time this season in the 3-0 loss on Tuesday.
Gausman faced Seattle once last season when he was with the San Francisco Giants, allowing one run and two hits in 6 1/3 innings. In seven career games (six starts), he is 1-2 with a 2.63 ERA vs. the Mariners.
Toronto extended two hitting streaks in Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over Seattle.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was 1-for-3 with a walk to extend his streak to a career-high-tying 14 games. He is 15-for-51 (.294) with two doubles, one home run and four RBIs during that span.
Santiago Espinal was 1-for-3 on Tuesday to extend his streak to a career-best 11 games, going 13-for-36 (.361) with five doubles and four RBIs.
Espinal insists he does not look too closely at his statistics.
“No, no, no, not really,” he said. “I just go out there and play. You know, once in a while I’ll go look, I’m not going to lie to you, I mean, that’s what we all do. But basically, I’m just staying consistent with my work and making sure I’m ready for the game.”
Seattle’s Jesse Winker was 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to nine games, going 11-for-35 (.314) with two doubles, a homer and four RBIs.
Seattle’s offensive woes continued, however.
“We’ve got to change the record because it’s the same old song,” Servais said.
The difference Tuesday came in the second inning. Seattle loaded the bases with one out, but Steven Souza Jr. grounded into a double play.
In the bottom half of the inning, Toronto loaded the bases with one out and George Springer blooped a two-out triple that eluded Souza’s dive.
“The story of the game was the second inning,” Servais said. “We hit into a double play, and they found a hole and got their runs in.”
The Mariners had some concerns when J.P. Crawford limped off the field after grounding out in the ninth inning. He went directly to the clubhouse but soon returned and was smiling. It turned out that he had hit his ankle with his bat on a swing and had temporary pain and numbness.
“He’s fine,” Servais said.
–Field Level Media