Blue Jays use four-run 8th to beat Mariners 5-2
TORONTO (AP) — After being held hitless by Seattle’s James Paxton on Tuesday, the Toronto Blue Jays were looking to get their offense clicking again.
It came alive in a pivotal eighth-inning rally.
Yangervis Solarte hit a game-tying double in the eighth and Justin Smoak followed with a go-ahead double as the Blue Jays rallied to beat the Mariners 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Toronto started the eighth with five straight hits off Mariners reliever Juan Nicasio (1-1), turning a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.
“After the last few days, we were overdue to explode,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Josh Donaldson snapped an 0 for 19 slump with a double and scored on Solarte’s hit. Solarte was replaced by pinch runner Anthony Alford, who scored on Smoak’s double to right. Kevin Pillar hit an RBI single to left, but was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double. Russell Martin ended Nicasio’s outing with a double.
“Nicasio was not on tonight, just didn’t have much life on the fastball,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We kept them down for a long time in this series. Just weren’t able to do it and shut the door tonight.”
Erik Goeddel replaced Nicasio and struck out Lourdes Gurriel Jr., but gave up an RBI single to Luke Maile.
“Later on in the game we were able to kind of steal that momentum and then kind of carry it over until the final out,” Donaldson said.
Teoscar Hernandez homered and had three hits for the Blue Jays, who came in having lost five of six at home.
Ryan Tepera (3-1) pitched one inning for the win and Tyler Clippard pitched around a leadoff single in the ninth to earn his first save.
“It was a big win for us,” Clippard said. “We needed to kind of bounce back.”
One night after Paxton’s feat, the Blue Jays made sure they would not be no-hit again when Hernandez singled to begin the bottom of the first.
Jean Segura had three hits for the Mariners, who have not won consecutive games since April 28 and 29.
“We had a chance to get this one tonight,” Servais said. “It hurts a little bit letting it get away.”
Segura hit an RBI double off Blue Jays left-hander Jaime Garcia in the first and Mitch Haniger made it 2-0 with a two-out double in the third. Hernandez answered with a leadoff blast into the second deck in center in the fourth, his sixth.
Making his second start of the season following five relief appearances, Seattle left-hander Wade LeBlanc allowed one run and four hits. He walked none and struck out three.
Garcia allowed two runs, one earned, and three hits in five innings.
HOT CORNER HEROICS
Donaldson started at DH and Martin, normally a catcher, made his first start of the season at third base. Martin made a barehanded play to retire Guillermo Heredia for the final out of the sixth, then threw out speedy Dee Gordon for the first out of the seventh.
“I’m just a ballplayer,” Martin said. “Just put me out there and I’ll get it done.”
The Blue Jays are 16-0 when scoring five or more runs.
The roof at Rogers Centre was open for the first time this season.
Mariners: RHP Dan Altavilla (shoulder) threw a bullpen at Double-A Arkansas on Tuesday and is expected to begin a rehab assignment there Thursday.
Blue Jays: Toronto acquired INF Gio Urshela from Cleveland for a player to be named later or cash. Urshela, who has played all four infield positions, provides defensive versatility for the Blue Jays, who have shortstops Aledmys Diaz (left ankle) and Troy Tulowitzki (right ankle) on the disabled list, and recently demoted struggling second baseman Devon Travis to Triple-A.
Mariners: RHP Mike Leake (3-3, 6.28) is 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA in two starts against Toronto. Leake has not faced the Blue Jays since 2014.
Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (4-2, 3.67) lost at Tampa Bay in his previous start, snapping a streak of four straight winning decisions.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball