Starter Ryan Weber, who was just called up to start Saturday, left in the fourth inning as the Mariners lost their third straight to the Blue Jays, 7-2.
TORONTO — The Mariners lost another game and another starting pitcher Saturday. And it’s difficult to know which trend will stop first for the beleaguered organization.
Midway through their 7-2 loss to the Blue Jays, starting pitcher Ryan Weber, who was called up from Class AAA Tacoma to make the start, left the game in the fourth inning with what was later announced as a shoulder injury.
Weber is one of a series of minor-league pitchers called up to serve as a stopgap in the Mariners’ rotation that is missing Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma and Drew Smyly. Weber was the ninth different pitcher to make a start for Seattle this season. That number is likely to increase when the rotation cycles through again.
Mariners @ Toronto, 10:07 a.m., ROOT Sports
The unending cycle of roster moves is also likely to continue with the Mariners in need of another fresh arm and Weber, who was meeting with doctors in Toronto after the game, is likely destined for the disabled list where he’ll have plenty of company. No word if jackets are being made for the growing club.
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“We’ll probably have to bring somebody up for tomorrow’s game,” Servais said. “It’s been a wild year so far. We’re 6 to 7 weeks into this thing and we had our ninth starter out there today. It’s hard to imagine you could ever plan for anything like this. As much depth as you create in the offseason, you never think you’re going to have to tap into it like this. But that’s where we are at.”
The effect of Weber’s injury and early exit wasn’t felt in Saturday’s loss, nor was it the mitigating factor for Seattle’s defeat. That problem came later. When Weber got hurt, the Mariners were trailing 1-0 and would later take a lead.
“I thought he was very aggressive and threw a lot of strikes,” Servais said. “You could see the movement on his ball.”
Following a pitch to Ryan Goins with two outs in the fourth inning, Weber began shaking his arm. Servais and a Mariners trainer hurried to the mound. After a brief conversation, Weber was escorted from the mound by the trainer.
“He felt something in his shoulder and it was something he’d never dealt with before,” Servais said. “Any time a pitcher grabs his arm like that, especially with what’s been going on with us, you have to get him out of there.”
Lefty Dillon Overton came in cold from the bullpen and took his time to warm up, per MLB rules. After an error by Danny Valencia at first base, Overton worked out of the inning without allowing a run.
Seattle tied the score in the fifth inning off Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman on Ben Gamel’s RBI double to center, scoring Jarrod Dyson. An inning later, the Mariners grabbed a 2-1 lead on Dyson’s ground ball single up the middle that allowed Valencia to score from second.
Up 2-1 going into the sixth, Servais turned the game over to his quintet of relievers that he likes to use with leads in close games. But that group couldn’t make the one-run lead hold up.
“We were right there and getting ready to go through our bullpen pieces,” Servais said. “But we made mistakes and they hit them out.”
Right-hander Tony Zych gave up a solo homer to one-time Mariner Kendrys Morales two batters into the inning that tied the score at 2-all.
“I was trying to go sinker away and it stayed up,” Zych said. “He’s a good hitter. I was trying to make a good pitch down to see if I could get a ground ball. It was not a good pitch.”
An inning later, Nick Vincent allowed back-to-back singles and tried to throw a fastball away to Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista. The ball leaked back over the middle of the plate and Bautista launched it into the seats in left-center for a go-ahead three-run homer.
“A good hitter hits that pitch,” Vincent said. “I’ve got to make a better pitch in that situation. He’s a hot hitter right now and it was not a quality pitch in that situation.”
The Mariners have helped make Bautista hot. He came into the series against the Seattle hitting. 177 with a .589 on-base plus slugging percentage and three homers. But in the past two games, he’s hit game-changing homers.
“For me, I’ve got to live on the edge,” Vincent said. “If I leave it over the middle, I’m not going to do well. Three bad pitches and they got three hits.”
The Blue Jays tacked on two more runs in the eighth off James Pazos, who got minimal help from teammates on defense with an error, a missed tag on a pickoff and a double steal.
“That was a sloppy inning,” Servais said.
The Mariners did manage to actually score runs, which is a bonus after mustering all of two runs in the first two games in Canada, including a span of 21 straight innings without scoring.
But given their capability and need, the meager offensive production wasn’t enough. Seattle was 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 base runners.
|Nine different pitchers have started for the M’s this season.|
|Chase De Jong||3|