(Seattle, WA) One marquee series draws the most attention on the Seattle Mariners home slate every year. That series is when the Toronto Blue Jays come to Seattle and bring with them a flood of fans from British Columbia who don’t have to travel too far to see their only Canadian baseball team. Not only was it a big series due to the jam packed, sold out crowds, but it was a huge opportunity for both teams.

With the trade deadline just around the corner, the question surrounding the Mariners is not if they go get someone. It is who are the Mariners going to get. With their division lead almost completely evaporated and five consecutive series losses, Seattle would look to take advantage of Toronto’s struggling lineup. On the other hand, the Blue Jays currently sit in last place in the AL East with a lot of questions surrounding if they sell some of their big pieces like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. For the Jays, they knew that it would not take too many runs to knock of the Mariners and maybe start a run to delay those decisions another year.

Mariners 2, Blue Jays 1 (Game 1, July 5th)

Superstitions will always be a part of sports and baseball might be the most extreme in terms of superstitions. For the Seattle Mariners, Friday night’s in their City Connect uniforms is an automatic win as the M’s looked to remain undefeated in their City Connects as Luis Castillo looked to start July on a high note as he took on the struggling Kevin Gausman for Toronto.

While Castillo cruised through the first three innings, not allowing a baserunner, Luke Raley had an up and down first three innings. In the bottom of the 1st, with runners on first and second and two outs, Raley drove a fly ball deep to left center field that would have netted two early runs. Instead, Daulton Varsho made an incredible catch, crashing into the wall as he made the play to rob Raley of extra bases, ending the inning. Then, in the bottom of the 3rd, a two-out walk by Cal Raleigh was followed by an infield single by Julio Rodríguez after a replay review changed the initial out call put runners at first and second for Raley once again. This time, Raley hit a line drive into left center rather than a fly ball and it got down for extra bases. Raleigh and Rodríguez scored on Raley’s ninth double of the year gave Seattle a 2-0 lead.

Luis Castillo allowed a walk in the top of the 4th, but still had not allowed a hit through the first five innings of his start. With six strikeouts going into the top of the 6th, everyone slowly started to talk about the no-hitter being twirled by La Piedra. With one out in the top of the 6th, the no-no bid ended. Kevin Kiermaier caught up to a fastball in the top right quadrant of the strike zone and launched it out into the right field crowd. It was Kiermaier’s third home run of the season and the shutout and no-hitter were both gone with the Mariner lead cut to 2-1.

A double play helped Castillo escape some more trouble in the top of the 6th and came back out for the top of the 7th. A couple of strikeouts of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Danny Jansen took his strikeout total to eight in the game. Castillo walked Daulton Varsho and that ended his night as Scott Servais went to the bullpen and brought in Austin Voth, who struck out Davis Schneider to end the inning. That also closed the book on La Piedra who looked like his old self, going 6 2/3 innings with one run allowed on just two hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. While pitching has not been the issue for the M’s, it was a very good sight to see La Piedra look like the ace that Mariner fans have seen over the last two seasons.

Seattle left runners stranded in scoring position in both the 7th and 8th innings which kept their lead at 2-1 going into the 9th. Andrés Muñoz looked for his first save since June 18th facing the top of the Blue Jays order. Spencer Horwitz, Bo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. can always be a problem, but three consecutive groundouts put a fairly quick end to this one. Once again the Mariners had gotten the job done in their City Connects as they took the opener from Toronto, 2-1.

Notable Performances

Blue Jays

  • Kevin Kiermaier- 1-2, HR, RBI, R
  • Kevin Gausman (L, 6-8)- 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO


  • Luis Castillo (W, 7-9)- 6.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO
  • Luke Raley- 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI
  • Cal Raleigh- 2-3, R, BB

Blue Jays 5, Mariners 4 (Game 2, July 6th)

Back-to-back matinee games would end the series and the homestand for the Mariners starting on Saturday afternoon. Two young starting pitchers would take the mound in game two of the series as Emerson Hancock was recalled by the Mariners to take Bryan Woo’s spot in the rotation. Opposite him would by Yariel Rodríguez who would be making his seventh career start in his rookie campaign.

Emerson Hancock pitched out of trouble in the first, stranding a leadoff double by George Springer. After that, both starters looked like grizzled veterans as they pitched to a lot of weak contact through three scoreless innings. In the top of the 4th, Hancock would be the first to blink after giving up a two-out single to Daulton Varsho. Alejandro Kirk had the Mariners number on this day and sent a shot to the base of the wall in left center. Varsho’s good speed looked like it might be tested but an issue on the relay allowed him to score on Kirk’s eighth double of the season. After allowing a single to Ernie Clement, Emerson Hancock got a strikeout of Kevin Kiermaier to limit the damage. However it was still the initial lead belonging to Toronto, 1-0.

A tough line drive turned into a double play to kill the Mariners response in the bottom of the 4th and that momentum continued to build for the Blue Jays. In the top of the 5th, George Springer reached on an infield single and Spencer Horwitz was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with nobody out. That ended the day for Hancock as the Mariner bullpen took over with Collin Snider being the first to enter the game. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. gave him a rough welcome with a base hit to left. Springer scored to make it 2-0 with still nobody out. Snider would limit the damage after that with a strikeout of Bo Bichette and a pop out by Danny Jansen. Daulton Varsho then sent a soft grounder to Dylan Moore at second and a collision between Moore and Guerrero ended the inning as Vlad was called out for interference but the lead was 2-0 Jays.

Yariel Rodríguez completely dominated the Mariners in what turned out to be the best start of his career so far. In six scoreless innings, Rodríguez allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out six. While Hancock did not pitch bad, Rodríguez definitely stole the show and was fired up as the game got later and later. Before Toronto went to their bullpen, the offense gifted him one last run of support with a sacrifice fly by Alejandro Kirk to make it 3-0 going into the bottom of the 7th.

In the top of the 8th, the Jays got to the Mariner bullpen. Mike Baumann faced a foe he was familiar with from his time in Baltimore, but a leadoff double by Kevin Kiermaier put some immediate pressure on. Two consecutive walks to George Springer and Davis Schneider loaded the bases with nobody out for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Vlad would not do as much damage as Jays fans hoped, but a sacrifice fly to right scored a run and put runners on the corners with one out. A rare error for J.P. Crawford prevented the Mariners from trying to turn two (although they probably would have only got one) and let another run score to make it 5-0 Blue Jays.

The biggest weakness for the Blue Jays this year has been their bullpen and they let the Mariners back into the game late. The most reliable arm in Trevor Richards got another inning of work in the bottom of the 8th, but two consecutive singles by Mitch Garver and Dominic Canzone put runners on first and second with nobody out. Mitch Haniger then got a fastball in the middle of the plate and sent it out into the Mariners bullpen for a three-run shot and his eighth home run of the season. Just like that there was life in T-Mobile Park for the Mariners as the deficit was cut down to 5-3.

Needing two runs in the bottom of the 9th off of closer Chad Green, Seattle got one of them fairly quickly. After Ty France flew out to right, Luke Raley put together a nine pitch at bat where on the final pitch he won the battle. A solo shot down the right field line was the 10th home run of the season for Raley and made it 5-4. With a couple of batters with some power coming to the plate, the drama boiled over in the 9th but a strike out of Mitch Garver turned the energy from optimistic to nervousness. Dominic Canzone could not extend the game as he popped up to Ernie Clement at third to snuff out the Mariner fire. The comeback bid fell short as Seattle dropped the middle game to Toronto, 5-4.

Notable Performances

Blue Jays

  • Alejandro Kirk- 3-4, 2 RBI
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr.- 2-4, 2 RBI, R
  • Yariel Rodríguez (W, 1-3)- 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO


  • Mitch Haniger- 1-3, HR, 3 RBI, R
  • Luke Raley- 2-4, HR, RBI, R
  • Emerson Hancock (L, 3-4)- 4 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO

Blue Jays 5, Mariners 4 (10) (Game 3, July 7th)

With everything on the line in the series finale, George Kirby would look to continue his recent string of success and lift the Mariners to a series victory. On the other side would be a very talented and seasoned starter in José Berríos going for Toronto.

Kirby got in some hot water early, but after getting out of a bases loaded jam in the 1st, he settled in over his next two innings. Seattle got a hit in each of the first two innings, but got a damaging hit to begin the bottom of the 3rd. In a move that didn’t exactly excite fans at the time, Victor Robles has been decent in his short Mariner tenure but he showcased his power in this one. A fastball on the inner black from Berríos was exactly what Robles was looking for and he crushed his first Mariner home run 424-feet. The solo bomb got the M’s on the board with a 1-0 lead.

An immediate response came for the Jays in the top of the 4th. Bo Bichette began the inning with his 16th double of the season to put a runner in scoring position with nobody out. Daulton Varsho did his job by bunting Bichette over to third for Alejandro Kirk who continued to do damage to the Mariners. A line drive to center was no problem for Robles, but it would be deep enough to score Bichette and tie the game at 1-1.

After a scoreless 4th, Seattle got another big blast in the home half of the 5th. A leadoff single by Dominic Canzone was followed by a sacrifice bunt attempt by Victor Robles. Instead, Robles reached on a throwing error by Berríos to put runners on second and third with nobody out. J.P. Crawford followed with a groundout that couldn’t get a run in which brought Mitch Garver to the plate. Looking for at least a fly ball to the outfield to put the Mariners back out in front, Garver got a 2-2 changeup that just floated over the heart of the plate. The Mariner DH didn’t miss it one bit and launched his 12th home run of the season out to left center. The three-run blast put the Mariners back out in front, 4-1.

George Kirby’s day ended in the top of the 7th. After beginning the inning on the mound, Kirby allowed back-to-back singles by Alejandro Kirk and Leo Jiménez to start the inning and bring the tying run to the plate. Ryne Stanek would enter the game to try to escape the jam and got off to a strong start with a strikeout of Kevin Kiermaier for the first out. Everything then fell apart for Seattle. Former Astro and noted Mariner killer, George Springer completely destroyed the vibes with one swing of the bat. A challenge fastball in the middle of the plate was driven out to right center and gone for a three-run, game-tying home run. The blast was Springer’s 10th of the season and tied the game 4-4.

A lack of execution then sent the Mariners and their fans into a state of utter frustration. Against a weak Toronto bullpen, the Mariners consistently put pressure on the Blue Jays pitching for the next three innings. In the bottom of the 7th, Seattle got runners on first and second with nobody out but could not come through with the go-ahead hit as Garver, Cal Raleigh, and Luke Raley were retired in order. In the bottom of the 8th, Seattle loaded the bases with two outs for J.P. Crawford who would groundout to end the threat. Then, after Andrés Muñoz spun a scoreless top of the 9th, a one-out single by Cal Raleigh was followed by a Luke Raley double that just bounced over the wall and prevented Raleigh from scoring. With the winning run on third and one out, Ty France continued to struggle in key situations as he went down on strikes. After intentionally walking Josh Rojas to load the bases, Chad Green got Jorge Polanco to pop out to third to leave the bases loaded. Three consecutive innings of wasted opportunities kept the score tied and sent the game to extra innings.

Collin Snider would be the Mariner reliever in the top of the 10th, trying to navigate the automatic runner at second in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. A flyout by Justin Turner was a good start. Then, a diving catch by Dominic Canzone in right took a hit away from Bo Bichette and kept Vlad at second with two outs. However, Daulton Varsho would clutch up like no Mariner could, with a base hit to right field to score Guerrero and put Toronto out in front 5-4.

With Seattle down to their final three outs, Ryan Bliss ran for Jorge Polanco and began the inning at second base. Mitch Haniger was unsuccessful in moving him over, striking out swinging for the first out against Génesis Cabrera. Dylan Moore reached on an infield single, but Bliss could not move up which kept runners at first and second with one down. A risky double-steal was successful after replay review upheld the call on the field and Bliss moved up to third while Moore reached second. Neither would go any further. A pop up by Crawford was followed by a walk to Mitch Garver to load the bases. It did not matter as Cal Raleigh hit a deep fly ball that would be caught by Kevin Kiermaier to end the inning and the game with the bases full of Mariners. Seattle had found rock bottom with 12 runners left on in the last four innings as the M’s dropped the finale and the series to Toronto, 5-4.

Notable Performances

Blue Jays

  • George Springer- 1-5, HR, 3 RBI, R
  • Alejandro Kirk- 1-3, RBI, R, BB
  • José Berríos (ND)- 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO


  • Mitch Garver- 2-5, HR, 3 RBI, R, BB
  • Victor Robles- 1-1, HR, RBI, 2 R, BB
  • George Kirby (ND)- 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO

What’s Next

Things just continue to go from bad to worse for the Seattle Mariners (49-43) as they barely cling on to the lead in the AL West. Luckily, Houston dropped two out of three so the M’s are still two games up on the Astros, but Texas continues to lurk. The Rangers swept Tampa Bay and now sit six games back and within striking distance of the Mariners. Texas will hit the road for the final six games before the All-Star break, starting with three at the Los Angeles Angels. Houston meanwhile will return home for a three-game series against the Miami Marlins.

For the Mariners, they will also be on the road for their final six-games before the break. First up, a quick two-game set in the first leg of the Vedder Cup as the M’s visit the San Diego Padres. After really struggling for the first couple months of the season, the Padres (49-45) have turned things around in the summer months and currently hold the final NL Wild Card with a 2 1/2 game lead over Arizona and New York. Inconsistency has been an issue for the Padres all season, but their outfield ranks as one of the best in baseball with Jackson Merrill, Jurickson Profar, and Fernando Tatis Jr. combining for 84 extra base hits this season. Unlike Toronto, San Diego has had a strong bullpen but the starting rotation has been a problem so the M’s have to come out aggressive and stack up the runs before the bullpen takes over.

Our player spotlight is a former division rival for the Mariners in one-time top prospect Jurickson Profar. The former top prospect in all of baseball never hit his stride with Texas in five seasons with the team. After leaving Texas and coming off his best season, Profar spent a year in Oakland before making his way to San Diego in a trade in the offseason just before the Pandemic. While he started last season with Colorado, Profar seemed to figure something out over the offseason as all that potential has surfaced. The utility man is on pace for career highs in every offensive statistic with 14 home runs, 59 RBI, 16 doubles and a batting average of .315. Recently, Profar has homered three times in his last seven games. However, San Diego is 3-4 in those seven games. The Padres are going to hit home runs. This series will be about minimizing the damage and keeping guys off base so those home runs are solo shots. If guys are on base for the MVP candidate that is Jurickson Profar who is hitting .369 with runners in scoring position, these games will turn into shootouts which the Seattle Mariners are not built to win.

  • Game 1, Tuesday 6:40pm- Logan Gilbert (5-5, 2.91 ERA) vs. Adam Mazur (1-2, 7.52 ERA)
  • Game 2, Wednesday 3:40pm- Bryce Miller (6-7, 3.84 ERA) vs. Randy Vásquez (2-4, 4.66 ERA)




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