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09/22/09 10:38 PM ET

Morrow hopes to go deep vs. Rays

Seattle (79-72) at Tampa Bay (77-74), 4:08 p.m. PT

ST. PETERSBURG -- Brandon Morrow is dying for something to build on.

With only a few more starts left in his agonizing 2009 season, the Mariners right-hander wants something more complete than what he's gotten in his first two starts since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma. In his first start back, he felt things were clicking, but rain put a damper on his performance. In his second, his stuff looked sharp but his command wasn't. He walked six batters.

Just once, he'd like to put a complete game together before the season runs out.

"I'm trying to take something positive," Morrow said. "I felt like I pitched well in Triple-A and I want to throw well up here and get that going for next year."

Morrow believes his mechanics are fine and his arm feels good, which makes his two starts since being recalled seem that much more mysterious. It's evident the ability is there for him to be successful, but the total package hasn't quite been put together.

"We've seen glimpses of him having outstanding stuff," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said, "but it's always going to be the command."

Against the White Sox on Thursday, Morrow's command wasn't there. He walked six batters in 5 2/3 innings, and despite coming one out shy of recording a quality start, he didn't prove yet he's able to pitch deep into games.

Morrow attributed the erratic performance to lack of focus, and though he admits the command is a work in progress, he was encouraged by his performance against Chicago.

"I put a lot of guys on base but I think, for the most part, I kept them from crossing home plate," Morrow said. "If guys get on, I've just got to keep them on base."

The Mariners are likely going to be watching closely as Morrow makes his last few starts this season, and the 25-year-old knows how important it will be for him to close out strongly. It's been a roller-coaster season for the right-hander, who began as the team's closer, then moved into the rotation, then was sent down to Tacoma to work things out.

After going 5-3 with a 3.60 ERA for the Rainiers, Seattle recalled him on Sept. 9, and the two starts he has made since have seemed to represent a step in the right direction. Wakamatsu and Morrow both hope the improvements continue to show, beginning with a better-controlled effort against the Rays on Wednesday.

"He's just got to get ahead of hitters," Wakamatsu said. "That's No. 1. If he gets ahead, then it's trying to decipher whether it's a curveball or whether it's a slider that's better that day. We're just trying to put that whole package together."

Pitching matchup
SEA: RHP Brandon Morrow (1-4, 5.08 ERA)
The right-hander struggled with his command on Thursday against the White Sox, but still came within one out of notching a quality start. He gave up three runs -- two earned -- on six hits over 5 2/3 innings, but six walks plagued him and kept him from getting deep into the game. Still, it was a serviceable outing, and likely will be considered a step in the right direction. He looks to be mixing his offspeed pitches a little more effectively. Morrow has appeared in two games against the Rays this season, both as a reliever. He threw one scoreless inning in each outing.

TB: RHP Wade Davis (1-1, 4.34 ERA)
Davis will be making his fourth Major League start after going the distance against the Orioles on Thursday when he pitched a four-hit shutout. The rookie right-hander escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs first-inning jam against the Orioles, allowing just three additional baserunners for the remainder of the game before striking out the side in the ninth to finish the shutout. Davis has great command of his pitches and isn't afraid to throw a breaking ball on the first pitch. Other than a bad start in Boston against the Red Sox, Davis has been everything the Rays hoped he would be.

Wakamatsu said the plan is for Felix Hernandez to make three more starts before the end of the season, beginning on Thursday against the Blue Jays. Hernandez, who is second in the American League with a 2.45 ERA, would need to pitch on the last day of the season. ... Wakamatsu said injured shortstop Jack Wilson may not be done for the year. Though Wilson remained in Seattle to tend to his bruised right heel, Wakamatsu seemed confident Wilson would be able to play in the next homestand. ... The Mariners grounded into 5-4-3 double plays to end each of the first two innings on Tuesday. Seattle came into the game third in the AL with only 110 GIDPs on the season, behind only Tampa Bay and Texas.

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Up next
• Thursday: Mariners (Felix Hernandez, 16-5, 2.45) at Blue Jays (Ricky Romero, 12-9, 4.28), 4:07 p.m. PT
• Friday: Mariners (Doug Fister, 2-3, 4.37) at Blue Jays (Roy Halladay, 15-10, 3.01), 4:07 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Mariners (Ian Snell, 7-10, 5.03) at Blue Jays (David Purcey, 1-2, 5.31), 10:07 a.m. PT

Zach Schonbrun is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.