Jays host Mariners in pitching-thin matchup

TORONTO — The Seattle Mariners have four starting pitchers on the disabled list.

The Toronto Blue Jays have three after Francisco Liriano was put on the DL on Thursday because of inflammation in his left shoulder.

The result causes a matchup like the one Friday night at Rogers Centre when the teams play the second contest of their four-game series.

Joe Biagini (0-1, 2.78 ERA) will make his second major league start for the Blue Jays after pitching in 74 games in relief over the past two seasons.

He will oppose the Mariners’ Christian Bergman (0-0, 2.45 ERA), who has 15 career big-league starts and makes his second appearance for Seattle (first start).

“He’s not going to blow you away with his stuff, but he can really pitch,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “The ball moves. He can bring it to both sides of the plate and sink it and cut it. Being realistic with what our expectations are and how deep he can get, we just want him to keep us in the ballgame and give us a chance because our offense is clicking pretty well right now.”

Bergman is starting because of the move of Hisashi Iwakuma, who was supposed to start Thursday, to the DL with right shoulder inflammation. As a result, Chase De Jong, who was supposed to start Friday, went Thursday instead.

In his Mariners debut Sunday against the Texas Rangers, Bergman allowed one run, one hit, one walk and one hit batter while striking out two in 3 2/3 innings of relief. Bergman, who was 1-3 with an 8.39 ERA in 15 appearances (one start) with the Colorado Rockies in 2016, was signed by Seattle on Dec. 1.

Bergman was 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA in five starts with Triple-A Tacoma. He is 7-9 with a 5.71 ERA in 56 career major league games. This will be his first appearance against the Blue Jays.

Biagini made 52 pitches over four innings (two hits, one unearned run, four strikeouts) in a no-decision Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays, a game won 2-1 by Toronto. The Blue Jays might limit his pitch count Friday.

“We’ll kind of see how the outing is going,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “If he’s laboring a little bit, we might hold that down a little bit — 70, 75 maybe. If he’s cruising, and it’s easy, we might go a little further than that.”

The Blue Jays will be trying for their second three-game winning streak of the season after their 7-2 victory in the series opener Thursday.

The Mariners had their four-game winning streak stopped Thursday. They were without second baseman Robinson Cano, who has a strained right quadriceps that forced him from the game Tuesday in Philadelphia in the fourth inning after he had homered and doubled.

Cano returned Wednesday and was 4-for-5 with a homer in the 11-6 victory over the Phillies, but he was a late scratch Thursday. His status is uncertain for Friday. Cano is hitting .349 with five doubles, seven home runs and 20 RBIs in his past 21 games.

The loss on Thursday put the Mariners (17-18) below .500 after they had spent one day at the break-even point. They have not been above .500 this season.

The Blue Jays (14-21) are 12-10 since opening the season 2-11. They have scored seven or more runs in back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 26-28, when they did it in three straight games.