September 21, 2014

TORONTO -- J.A. Happ will be going for his career-best 13th win of the season on Sunday.

The Toronto Blue Jays left-hander has another mission, preventing a three-game sweep by the Seattle Mariners at Rogers Centre.

The Mariners defeated the Blue Jays 14-5 Saturday and have won the first two games of the series. Happ will be facing a Mariners team that is growing in confidence with four wins it the last five games.

Left-hander Wade Miley will be starting for Seattle and will have a tough act to follow after the performances of starters James Paxton and Hisashi Iwakuma in the first two games.

"It's going to be starting pitching that allows us to get on a streak and they have done it," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Guys have kept us in a game and have done a nice job, and it gives our offense a chance to get going.

"When our left-handed team is in there, we're pretty good, especially against bullpens and middle relief stuff. Hopefully we'll get after it (Sunday).

"We haven't (won four of five) in a while. It's nice to see confidence. Guys are loose and feeling good about where they're at right now. Again, it's driven by the starting pitching and hopefully we'll get a good one, tomorrow, as well."

The Mariners will be facing a good starter in Happ and one who is familiar to them, The Blue Jays traded Happ to the Mariners for outfielder Michael Saunders after the 2014 season.

Seattle then traded Happ to the Pittsburgh Pirates last July 31 and the Blue Jays signed him in the offseason as a free agent.

Saunders, who missed most of last season because of a knee injury, has three home runs in his first two games against his former team, including two on Saturday.

Happ already has equaled his career best with 12 wins, a total he first achieved in 2009 with the Philadelphia Phillies, when he was 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA in 35 games, including 23 starts.

This season he is 12-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 19 starts.

Happ is a changed pitcher, more consistent than he was and also not so prone on dwelling on mistakes.

"I'm beating myself up a little bit less over poor performances," he said. "I'm taking the negatives and positives in stride, rather than dwelling on the bad.

"I certainly still get upset and carry things. But I think I've gotten better as my career's gone on and I think that's helped me turn the page and look forward to the next game, rather than worry about the last one.

Happ had a six-start winning streak stopped last Sunday when he did not factor in the decision in Toronto's 5-3 victory at Oakland. He allowed five hits, one walk and five runs in 5? innings.

In his last seven starts, he is 6-0 with a 3.19 ERA.

Happ was 4-6 with a 4.64 ERA in 21 games, including 20 starts, with Seattle last season. After being traded to the Pirates, he was 7-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 11 starts.

In three career starts against Seattle, he is 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA.

Miley (6-7, 5.38 ERA) will make his 18th start of the season and his fifth start since being reinstated from the disabled list (left shoulder impingement). He is 0-5 with a 5.60 ERA in his last five starts dating to June 12. On Tuesday he allowed six hits and three runs in 6? innings in a loss to the Chicago White Sox. That was good enough to earn him another chance on Sunday.

In four career starts against Toronto, he is 1-2 with a 6.98 ERA. In his last two starts against the Blue Jays he is 1-0 with a 4.63 ERA.

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