Sports Baseball

On Deck: Mariners at Blue Jays

DONALD DUENCH, Toronto Sun

Seattle Mariners' Jean Segura (right) throws to first base after getting Cleveland Indians' Abraham Almonte out at second base in the fourth inning on April 29, 2017. (TONY DEJAK/AP files)

Seattle Mariners' Jean Segura (right) throws to first base after getting Cleveland Indians' Abraham Almonte out at second base in the fourth inning on April 29, 2017. (TONY DEJAK/AP files)

SEATTLE MARINERS at TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Pitching matchups

THURSDAY 7:07 p.m.
RHP Chase De Jong (0-2, 6.75 ERA) vs. RHP Marco Estrada (1-2, 3.14 ERA)
De Jong was a Blue Jays draft pick, but was dealt to the Dodgers in 2015 to facilitate the signing of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

FRIDAY 7:07 p.m.
RHP Christian Bergman (0-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. RHP Joe Biagini (0-1, 2.78 ERA)
Bergman threw 40 pitches in relief on Sunday, but was a starter in triple-A Tacoma.

SATURDAY 1:07 p.m.
TBA vs. RHP Marcus Stroman (3-2, 3.38 ERA)
Seattle’s starter could be Dillon Overton, who was the team’s starter on Sunday. Overton pitched the ninth inning Wednesday, allowing two homers.

SUNDAY 1:07 p.m.
LHP Ariel Miranda (3-2, 5.20 ERA) vs. TBA
Toronto’s starter will be Aaron Sanchez if his finger issues have been resolved. If not, expect Mike Bolsinger to get a second start.

PEOPLE TO WATCH

George Poulis, Blue Jays
Toronto fans hope to see Poulis, the team’s head athletic trainer, stay in the dugout, all by himself, not needing to attend to yet another injury.

Jean Segura, Mariners
The shortstop and leadoff hitter has excelled in his first season with Seattle, arriving in a deal which sent pitcher Taijuan Walker to Arizona. Segura had only one hit Wednesday, which amounts to a slump. He had at least two hits in each of his previous six games.

TOP 3 STORYLINES

1. Sea the doctor
The Blue Jays would have faced Hisashi Iwakuma on Thursday, but he was placed on the 10-day DL Wednesday because of right shoulder inflammation. Four pitchers from Seattle’s expected rotation are now on the DL, and the Jays will miss the fifth, Yovani Gallardo, who pitched Wednesday. Felix Hernandez (right shoulder inflammation), almost-Jay James Paxton (left forearm strain) and Drew Smyly (left flexor strain) are the other starters on the DL.

2. Big boppers
The Mariners arrive after two interleague games in Philadelphia, which prompted manager Scott Servais to limit DH Nelson Cruz to pinch-hitting duties. Cruz is dealing with a sore hamstring. Fellow star Robinson Cano had a quadriceps injury, but was able to homer in both games and was 4-for-5 on Wednesday.

3. Hair today ... until Sunday
Long-haired Ben Gamel and Taylor Motter are fortunate that Lou Lamoriello isn’t in charge of the Mariners. Gamel is coming off two great games in Philly, in which he went 6-for-9 and threw out a runner at the plate.

DUENCH'S TAKE

After the Edwin Encarnacion love-in, this weekend Toronto welcomes back Marc Rzepczynski (0.00 ERA in 9.1 IP) and Danny Valencia (who homered Wednesday). With all the callups due to injuries on both sides, this could look more like 1977 than 2017. Expect each team to win two of the four games.