Jays fall despite Marcum's outing
Only offense for Toronto comes on Thomas' 501st homer
SEATTLE -- Even when Troy Glaus understands the reasoning, he isn't happy to see his name absent from Toronto's lineup. That's why the third baseman headed into the visiting manager's office at Safeco Field prior to Sunday's game.
Glaus did his best to convince Blue Jays manager John Gibbons to rethink giving him the day off, and then watched helplessly as Toronto's offense limped to a 2-1 loss to Seattle. The defeat spoiled a stellar outing from pitcher Shaun Marcum, and marked the fourth loss in a row for slumping Jays.
"Look, I show up every day wanting to play," Glaus said while packing his bags for Oakland. "That's just my nature. That's how I am. That was his decision and he's the manager. It's his job to write the lineup, not mine or anybody else's."
Gibbons cited Glaus' poor career statistics against Mariners starter Jeff Weaver as the main reason to give the third baseman the game off. The 6-foot-5 slugger had hit just .065 in 32 at-bats against the right-hander, who effectively handcuffed the rest of Toronto's hitters on Sunday, too.
"We talked, and obviously, I pleaded my case," Glaus said about his pregame discussion with Gibbons. "But that's the way it goes. He felt like today was a good day [for me to rest], and I know my numbers off Weaver aren't very good."
His numbers aside, Glaus was more than ready to come off the bench in Toronto's best scoring chance against Weaver during the series finale in Seattle. After Frank Thomas belted a home run -- the 501st blast of his career -- off Weaver in the seventh, Toronto (39-42) had runners on second and third base with out out.
Into the batter's box strolled Howie Clark, who started in place of Glaus at third base. With light-hitting shortstop Royce Clayton on deck, Seattle opted to intentionally walk Clark to increase the chances of creating a double play. Had the Mariners (45-33) turned to their bullpen against Clark, Glaus was ready to pinch-hit.
"The opportunity was there if they would've brought a lefty in," Glaus said. "Howie ended up walking. If, in that situation, they would've brought in a lefty, then I would've hit."
Even after Clark walked, Gibbons said he considered having Glaus bat with the bases loaded. The third baseman's numbers against Weaver were too underwhelming, though, so Toronto's manager decided to give Clayton the chance to add to the Jays' 1-0 advantage.
Clayton sent a pitch from Weaver sharply up the middle, where Seattle shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt scooped up the ball and turned an unassisted double play to end the threat.
"He's had a tough time against Weaver in his whole career," said Gibbons, when asked if he considered pinch-hitting with Glaus. "Otherwise, he would've been in the game today. Royce hit it on the money, but their shortstop has great range."
The Blue Jays would not receive a similar scoring opportunity against the Mariners, who then pounced on Toronto's bullpen. Seattle was silenced for the first seven innings, mainly due to another strong performance by Marcum.
The 25-year-old right-hander turned in 6 2/3 scoreless frames, marking the fifth time in his 10 starts that he began a game with six shutout innings. With the effort, Marcum lowered his ERA as a starter to 2.03, but he still picked up his seventh no-decision as a member of the rotation.
"He's on a roll, man. He really is," Gibbons said. "He's giving us a chance to win every night. He's left with some leads in some games, too. You feel awfully good when you know it's his day to pitch. That's all I can say."
The Mariners, who had 29 singles among their 32 hits over the past three games, were able to mount their comeback once Marcum exited the game.
In the eighth, Jose Guillen led off by sending the first pitch he faced from reliever Casey Janssen deep to right field for a homer. The Mariners, fired up to get a win for manager Mike Hargrove, who announced he was stepping down prior to the game, then loaded the bases with one out, but Toronto closer Jeremy Accardo (1-3) escape unscathed.
The same can't be said for the ninth inning. Accardo gave up a leadoff walk to Adrian Beltre and then allowed a single to Raul Ibanez. That summoned Guillen, who followed with a single to left field that dealt the decisive blow and gave the Mariners their eighth win in a row.
"I've been playing here a long time," said Glaus, who has hit just .196 with two home runs in 47 career games at Safeco Field. "This is a tough place to win. It always is. You have to play a very specific brand of baseball here, because there's not big comebacks here.
"That's what happens here. There's not a lot of extra-base hits and there's not a lot of home runs hit here."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.