Kendrys Morales, Ezequiel Carrera and Justin Smoak, all one-time members of the Seattle Mariners organization, provided the big blows for a game that sounded like it belonged in Toronto.
Carrera led off the eighth inning with his fifth homer of the season to break a 2-all tie, Morales and Smoak each added long balls and the Blue Jays continued their reliance on the home run in a 4-2 win over the Mariners on Saturday night.
“We love home runs. We scored all our runs off home runs. I don’t know if you can do that forever, but right now it’s working,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said.
Morales’ two-run shot in the fourth inning, his 12th of the season, stood as Toronto’s only hit until the seventh. After Seattle pulled even at 2-all, Carrera drove a sinker from Tony Zych (2-2) that stayed in the middle of the plate deep to right field, generating a huge roar from the thousands of Toronto fans in town for the weekend series.
“He gave me a cookie, threw the ball a little bit high fastball and I took advantage of it,” Morales said through an interpreter.
Smoak added one more jolt, hitting his 18th homer leading off the ninth inning. And it happened that all three homers came from one-time Mariners properties, although Carrera never played in the majors with Seattle.
Toronto starter Marcus Stroman (7-2) was outstanding, winning his sixth straight decision. Stroman allowed one earned run in seven innings, and it took the help of two errors on one play for Seattle to score its second run and pull even.
Stroman struck out six and walked none, and the Blue Jays have won the last seven games he has started. Seattle’s only earned run off Stroman came on back-to-back singles by Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager in the second inning, helped by a wild pitch that got Cruz into scoring position.
“It’s fun man. It feels similar to playoffs. It’s weird having a road game that is essentially a home game for us,” Stroman said.
Joe Smith got out of a jam in the eighth by striking out Seager and getting Taylor Motter to ground out after Seattle had runners at the corners and one out. Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 15th save as Seattle again failed to climb above the .500 mark after reaching the break-even point for the third time this season.
Seattle starter Ariel Miranda allowed just two hits in 6 1/3 innings but was pulled in the seventh after issuing his fifth walk of the game, setting a new career high.
JUST KEEP RUNNING
The run Seattle got to pull even in the seventh came in the most unlikely of ways. Dyson led off with a single and stole second base early in the at-bat to Carlos Ruiz. Russell Martin’s throw was low and skipped into the outfield, allowing Dyson to advance. But Kevin Pillar also misplayed the ball in centre field, and Dyson never stopped at third base, scoring on a play more common to Little League than the majors.
“That’s really something I’ve never seen before on our side,” Seager said of Dyson. “We’ve had some guys that can run before, but nothing to the extent that he can do. He’s really special.”
Seattle recalled right-handed reliever Emilio Pagan from Triple-A Tacoma and optioned RHP Tyler Cloyd. Cloyd got the victory in Friday’s win, but due to Tommy John surgery can’t pitch on consecutive days, so the Mariners wanted an extra arm in the bullpen.
Blue Jays: Toronto hopes to get IF Steve Pearce (calf) back by next weekend. Peace played his second rehab game for Double-A New Hampshire on Friday.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez will be limited to 65 pitches in his rehab start on Sunday with Triple-A Tacoma, and is expected to make at least one more rehab start before rejoining the Mariners rotation. ... RHP Hisashi Iwakuma will throw a simulated game on Sunday and likely go out on a rehab assignment next week. ... OF Mitch Haniger (oblique) is in line to be activated from the disabled list on Sunday.
Blue Jays: J.A. Happ (0-4) is still looking for his first win after 20 games last season. Happ pitched 5 1/3 innings in his last start against Oakland, his second since coming off the disabled list.
Mariners: James Paxton (5-0) looks to keep his mark perfect on the season. Paxton allowed three runs in five innings in his last start where he picked up his fifth victory.Report Typo/Error