Seattle Mariners (83-73) at Toronto Blue Jays (79-77), 7:07 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Seattle Mariners aren't helping themselves any in the race for the American League's second wild card spot. Felix Hernandez hopes to change that on Tuesday when the Mariners continue a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Hernandez could be headed toward another AL Cy Young Award and seems to be saving his best for last, as he is pitching to a 0.96 ERA in the month of September. However, he has just one win in that time with two no-decisions having not allowed a run.
The talented right-hander scattered three hits and struck out 11 Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, but did not factor in the decision of his team's 3-1 win. He is 14-5 on the year with a 2.07 ERA.
"I had pretty good command," Hernandez said. "Great command of my fastball, the breaking ball was good, curveball was unbelievable. And the changeup was there."
Hernandez is only 5-5 with a 4.63 ERA in 12 starts versus the Jays.
Seattle lost a half game in the playoff standings on Monday, as Jose Bautista went 3-for-3 with a home run, three runs scored and two RBI as Toronto played the role of spoiler with a 14-4 drubbing of the Mariners.
The playoff-hopeful Mariners have lost three in a row, dropping them two games behind the Royals for the second wild card spot in the AL.
James Paxton (6-4) had the shortest outing of his rookie campaign at the most inopportune time. Toronto knocked out the left-hander in the third inning, touching him for nine runs -- eight earned -- on seven hits and six walks.
"My guys will be ready to play tomorrow," said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon. "They know what's at stake."
J.A. Happ (10-11) benefited from the run support and picked up the win with seven quality innings of two-run ball.
"I made a few changes physically with my mechanics," Happ said. "There's a constant battle mentally, trying to get yourself in the right frame of mind and be positive. That's something I've battled before. So I feel good about where I've come."
Toronto will counter with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who is 13-12 with a 3.82 ERA. Dickey did not get a decision Thursday against the New York Yankees, but pitched well, allowing a pair of runs in six innings of his team's 3-2 loss.
Dickey has faced the Mariners 12 times (4 starts) and is 4-3 with a 4.50 ERA.
The Mariners swept the Blue Jays in three games from Aug. 11-13 in Seattle.