The Blue Jays will be looking for their fifth straight win for the first time this season on Tuesday and will turn to right-hander Brandon Morrow to open a three-game set against the Mariners at Rogers Centre.
Morrow, who has been excellent when healthy this season, was drafted by Seattle in the first round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and spent three seasons with the Mariners before being traded to Toronto in December 2009.
The 28-year-old is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three career starts against his former club, striking out 28 batters over 19 innings. Not only has Morrow had success vs. Seattle, but he been strong over three starts since returning from an oblique strain that cost him more than two months of his season.
In his last outing, Morrow (8-5, 2.94 ERA) allowed two runs on three hits while striking out six. He has surrendered two earned runs or less in each of his three starts.
Morrow, who recorded three complete-game shutouts in the first half, feels like he has picked up right where he left off before getting sidelined.
"Just to kind of regain the same confidence and feeling, especially with the secondary pitches that I had earlier in the season," Morrow said of his goal for the rest of the year. "I'm feeling that now, I'm feeling like I came back in pretty much the same spot."
Morrow will be up against a Mariners team that wrapped up a three-team, nine-game homestand by getting swept by the A's on Sunday, finishing with a 3-6 mark.
The Mariners, who lost two of three the last time they were at Rogers Centre in April, have struggled away from Safeco Field this season, where they have won 18 of their past 25 games. Their 31 road wins are tied for the third fewest in the American League.
Seattle, which is sitting in last place in the competitive AL West, can surpass its 67-win total of last season with a win in Tuesday's opener.
Mariners: Ramirez to make first start since in over two months
Erasmo Ramirez will make his first start Tuesday since leaving a June 30 outing against the Red Sox with an elbow injury.
On Friday, the right-hander made his first appearance in the Majors since sustaining the injury, pitching a scoreless inning with two strikeouts, after going 3-1 in eight starts at Triple-A Tacoma following his stint on the DL.
Ramirez, who broke camp with the Mariners as a long reliever, is someone manager Eric Wedge will be keeping an eye on in September, along with fellow righty Hector Noesi.
"Just want to take a look at them again. They've been pitching down at Triple-A for a while," Wedge said. "Ramirez's inning [on Friday] was good. Get them in a starting role, we get a chance to watch them a little longer."
Eric Thames will be facing his former team for the second time since the Blue Jays traded him to the Mariners for reliever Steve Delabar at the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Thames, who homered in his first game with Seattle against Toronto, is batting .235 with four home runs, five doubles, two triples, 11 RBIs and a .719 OPS in 33 games with the Mariners.
The 25-year-old entered the season as the Blue Jays' starting left fielder and was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas at the end of May, which is where he was playing at the time of the deal.
Seattle is tied with the Dodgers for the second best home ERA in the Majors at 2.94, which is currently the best mark in club history. The Mariners' top home ERA came in 2001, at 3.04.
Blue Jays: Davis inching toward career-high steals mark
Rajai Davis stole his 41st base of the year in Sunday's 4-3 win over Boston, which tied for the second most he has swiped in a season. The speedster, who also stole 41 with the A's in 2009, is nine off his career high of 50 set with Oakland in '10.
Davis' 41 steals rank second in the Majors this season behind only Mike Trout's 44.
The 31-year-old Davis, who has a $3 million club option for 2013, has hit safely in four of his past five games, recording multihit games in two of them.
Manager John Farrell gave Omar Vizquel the start at second for Sunday's series finale against the Red Sox, in what was his last game at Fenway Park.
Vizquel, a 24-year veteran who will retire at the end of the season, delivered by hitting a game-winning sacrifice fly in the top of ninth to give Toronto a 4-3 win.
The 11-time Gold Glove winner, who is third on the active hit list with 2,870, needs three hits to tie Babe Ruth for the 41st most in Major League history.
Seattle is headed toward its third straight last-place finish in the AL West. The Mariners would have to go 14-7 for the remainder of the year to finish at the .500 mark, something the club hasn't done since winning 85 games in 2009.
The Blue Jays moved two games ahead of Boston for fourth place in the AL East. Toronto has finished in fourth place in four consecutive seasons and hasn't been in the basement since 2004.
The Mariners swept Toronto at Safeco Field the last time the two teams met.
Morrow is holding this current version of the Mariners to a .205 average and .553 OPS over 83 at-bats, without surrendering a homer.