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Blue Jays extend Mariners' slide

Sep 2, 2007 - 9:57 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- A.J. Burnett kept the Seattle Mariners in a deep slump.

Burnett allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings and Matt Stairs homered in his third straight game, leading the Blue Jays to a 6-4 victory over the Mariners.

Toronto completed a three-game series sweep, handing Seattle its ninth straight loss. It is the longest losing streak for the Mariners since an 11-game slide from August 10-20 of last season.

Seattle (73-62) stayed two games behind the New York Yankees (76-61) in the wild card race. The Mariners open a three-game series at Yankee Stadium on Monday.

The Blue Jays (70-66) moved a season-high four games over .500 and closed within 5 1/2 games of the Yankees in the wild card chase.

Pitching as well as he has all season, Burnett (8-7) overpowered the Mariners early, retiring the first 10 batters. Five of the first six outs were on strikeouts. He walked one and struck out seven.

"They were making me work early even though I had the strikeouts," Burnett said. "We were making the plays on defense, so I just tried to take a little bit off and let them play a little bit."

In his last five starts, Burnett has allowed only eight runs in 34 2/3 innings, an ERA of 2.08.

Casey Janssen tossed a perfect ninth to record his fifth save. Closer Jeremy Accardo was rested after saving the first two games of the series.

"Three outs is three outs," Janssen said. "Whether I pitch in the eighth or ninth, I try not to make anything more than it is."

The Mariners asked Jeff Weaver (6-11) to stop the losing streak, but he was not up to the task, lasting only three-plus innings. The loss snapped Weaver's personal four-game winning streak.

"They jumped on me early," said Weaver, who suffered his shortest outing since returning from the disabled list June 4. "It seemed like every time I got in the stretch they got more aggressive. I just left too many pitches on the plate and they made me pay."

Weaver, who dropped to 5-11 lifetime against the Blue Jays, gave up a three-run homer in the second inning to Gregg Zaun, who went 6-for-11 in the series, and a two-run shot to Stairs in the third that staked the Blue Jays to a 5-0 lead.

"It was just one of those lucky home runs," Zaun said. "It was probably a pitch that I shouldn't have swung at, but we had a hit and run going and I was just trying to stay on top of it. It hit me right where my bat was going."

"You don't see a hit and run home run very often," Seattle manager John McLaren added. "Weaver made a couple of bad pitches. He was just getting too much of the plate."

Stairs' last eight hits have gone for extra bases. He has five doubles in addition to the three home runs this weekend.

"It's nice to sweep a team in front of you," Stairs said. "Whenever you play a team that's struggling, that's a series you're always afraid of. We've been playing pretty good lately and hopefully we can continue to play well."

Burnett experienced his first trouble in the fourth, when he hit Jose Vidro with one out. Jose Guillen and Raul Ibanez followed with singles to get the Mariners on the board.

Seattle closed to 5-2 on Adrian Beltre's RBI groundout, but Burnett struck out Ben Broussard to avoid further trouble.

Weaver left after giving up singles to Aaron Hill and Zaun to start the bottom of the fourth, but reliever Ryan Feierabend worked out of trouble to keep the Mariners in the game and tossed three scoreless frames.

Toronto missed a chance to add to its lead in the fifth, when left fielder Ibanez threw out Frank Thomas trying to score on Zaun's single.

Earlier in the inning, Thomas singled to extend his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games.

The Mariners tried to rally in the seventh as Burnett walked Beltre and Broussard singled. Again, Burnett limited the damage, giving up only a sacrifice fly to Kenji Johjima.

Toronto got back the run in the bottom half on Hill's RBI single off Eric O'Flaherty.

In the eighth, Brian Wolfe surrendered an RBI single to Ibanez, pulling the Mariners within 6-4.

Alex Rios went 2-for-5 for the Blue Jays, his fifth multi-hit game in the last six contests. He is batting .400 (10-for-25) during the stretch.

Zaun and Hill each had three hits for the Blue Jays, while Russ Adams, Rios and Stairs contributed two hits apiece.

Ibanez had two hits and two RBI for the Mariners, who are averaging just over three runs per game during the losing streak.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 1 0 4 6 0
    TORONTO 0 3 2 0 0 0 1 0 x 6 14 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - JEFF WEAVER, RYAN FEIERABEND (4TH), RICK WHITE (7TH), ERIC
    O'FLAHERTY (7TH), BRANDON MORROW (8TH) AND KENJI JOHJIMA
    TOR - A.J. BURNETT, SCOTT DOWNS (8TH), BRI

    Sep 2 3:50 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RAUL IBANEZ SCORED JOSE VIDRO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R IBANEZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4
    TORONTO 6 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: A BELTRE (.281, 0-FOR-2, BB, RBI)

    Mariners vs. Blue JaysSep 2 3:33 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AARON HILL SCORED ALEX RIOS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A HILL ON FIRST, T GLAUS ON SECOND, F THOMAS
    ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    TORONTO 6 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: G ZAUN (.239, 3-FOR-3, HR, 2 RBI)

    Mariners vs. Blue JaysSep 2 3:20 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY KENJI JOHJIMA SCORED ADRIAN BELTRE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B BROUSSARD ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    TORONTO 5 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J LOPEZ (.260, 0-FOR-2)

    Mariners vs. Blue JaysSep 2 3:03 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ADRIAN BELTRE SCORED JOSE GUILLEN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R IBANEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    TORONTO 5 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: B BROUSSARD (.287, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners vs. Blue JaysSep 2 2:18 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RAUL IBANEZ SCORED JOSE VIDRO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R IBANEZ ON FIRST, J GUILLEN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 1
    TORONTO 5 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: A BELTRE (.282, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners vs. Blue JaysSep 2 2:13 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MATT STAIRS (18) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF JEFF WEAVER SCORED RUSS ADAMS.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0, TORONTO 5
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.250, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners vs. Blue JaysSep 2 2:02 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY GREGG ZAUN (8) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF JEFF WEAVER SCORED AARON HILL.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0, TORONTO 3
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: J MCDONALD (.256, 1 HR, 27 RBI)

    Mariners vs. Blue JaysSep 2 1:41 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AARON HILL SCORED MATT STAIRS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A HILL ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0
    TORONTO 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: G ZAUN (.230, 7 HR, 36 RBI)

    Mariners vs. Blue JaysSep 2 1:39 PM