After a splendid start to their weekend in Toronto Friday, the Mariners’ offense went into a deep freeze in the Great White North, following a 7-0 loss Saturday with a 7-2 loss Sunday, drawing much air out of a recent four-game winning streak.
Aside from solo home runs from Chone Figgins in the first and Miguel Olivo in the ninth, the Mariners produced no effective situational hitting despite multiple opportunities.
The Mariners were 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position Sunday, following 0-for-8 Saturday. The pitching victim Sunday was starter Jason Vargas, who gave up two runs and four hits in six innings, but watched as the bullpen caved.
“I didn’t feel like we were giving away at-bats, the end result just wasn’t very good,” said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. “Defensively, we were sloppy. Vargas made it work. He pitcch well, although he he had a lot of pitches (111) in a short time.
“We just didn’t play very well.”
Vargas did not give up a hit until two were out in the fourth, and it was a misplay. Left fielder Figgins lost a pop-up against the Roger Center roof. It dropped in front of him for a double, putting runners on second and third. But Brett Lawrie, the Langley, B.C. native and brother of former University of Washington softball star Danielle Lawrie, lined to left for the third out to preserve the 1-0 lead.
The Blue Jays broke through against Vargas in the fifth inning with two singles around a ground-out. In the sixth, Toronto’s hottest hitter, Edgar Encarnacion, hit a solo home run — his third home run in three days against Seattle — off Vargas that gave the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead. It was his seventh homer of the seven and 20th RBI.
A five-run eighth, highlighted by a two-run double by Lawrie and a two-run, second-deck homer by weak-hitting catcher Jeff Mathis, blew open the game against relievers Steve Delabar and Charlie Furbush. The fifth run came in when Olivo’s pickoff throw to third base hit the runner for an error.
The Mariners’ offense missed numerous chances against the Jays’ starter, 22-year-old Henderson Alvarez. He gave up six hits and three walks in six innings, but the Mariners steadily squandered at-bats..
SHERRILL DONE — Relief pitcher George Sherrill’s season is over. He is scheduled for Tommy John surgery May 4 to replace an elbow ligament.
Sherrill, 35, was on the disabled list since April 10 with a strained flexor bundle. In his only two appearances, he pitched 1.1 innings and gave up four runs on six hits, including two home runs.
Sherrill was signed to a $1 million, one-year contract Dec. 17 — his second stint as a Mariner — filling a need a veteran specialist against lefty hitters. But he was rarely effective in spring training.
Dr. Lewis Yocum will perform the surgery in Los Angeles on May 4.
This really hurts the M’s as that Sherrill was to be the horse of the bullpen. And possibly the closer if the team decided to trade League. Not sure at this point in the season how the team can get a comparable replacement.