Bautista homers as Blue Jays blank Mariners 4-0
TORONTO (AP) — When opposing batters reach second base against Joe Biagini, Devon Travis likes to ask for their impressions of his Blue Jays teammate.
He’s been hearing the same answer a lot lately.
Biagini and four relievers combined on a seven-hitter, Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer and Toronto beat the Seattle Mariners 4-0 on Friday night.
“That guy is nasty, man,” Travis said of Biagini. “Every single guy that gets on (second) base, I ask them what they think about him and they’ve all got the same answer: he’s something.”
Travis had two RBIs despite a hitless night for the Blue Jays, who have won five of six.
Biagini (1-1) gave up four hits, walked none and struck out three, winning as a starter for the first time in his second career start.
“They’ve got a good lineup over there,” manager John Gibbons said. “He shut them down.”
Biagni said he’s been working on improving his changeup, and catcher Luke Maile suggested using it against Seattle.
“I try to make sure my arm speed is up on that pitch,” Biagini said. “When it is, it looks a little bit more like a fastball. (Maile) hasn’t seen me a lot but he definitely seemed to think it might be effective. Not all of them were but when I was disciplined on getting it down, that was important for me.”
Aaron Loup got one out, Danny Barnes and Ryan Tepera each worked 1 1/3 innings and Roberto Osuna finished.
A Rule 5 pick from San Francisco, Biagini made 60 relief appearances for Toronto in 2016, and had 15 more before sliding into the rotation at Tampa Bay last Sunday.
“He’s fantastic, man, the things he’s been able to do for the ball club the last two years,” Travis said. “Being able to step into the starting rotation, that’s not easy, especially when you’re not expecting it.”
Seattle has lost two straight after winning the previous four. After scoring 21 total runs in consecutive victories over Philadelphia this week, the Mariners have scored two runs in back-to-back defeats to Toronto.
“As hot as we were with the bat in Philadelphia, we’ve been just as cold here in Toronto,” manager Scott Servais said.
Mariners right-hander Christian Bergman (0-1) allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings.
“I thought he hung in there fine,” Servais said.
Travis opened the scoring with an RBI groundout in the second. Bautista homered in the third, his second in three games.
Bautista had one homer and seven RBIs in 25 games in April. He has three homers and seven RBIs in 11 games so far in May.
Travis made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly off Jean Machi in the sixth.
Seattle put runners at second and third with one out in the third but couldn’t score. Third baseman Darwin Barney knocked down Jean Seagura’s grounder and got an out while keeping Taylor Motter at third, and left fielder Steve Pearce ended the inning with a full-length diving catch on Ben Gamel.
HOME RUN DERBY
Toronto has hit 17 homers in its past 11 games in May after hitting 22 in 25 April games.
WALK THIS WAY
Biagini has not walked a batter in any of his past 13 outings, covering 21 1/3 innings.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (shoulder) felt sore after playing catch twice last week and will back off his throwing program, manager Scott Servais said. ... 2B Robinson Cano (right quadriceps) was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight night but was able to take part in batting practice. Cano left Tuesday’s win at Philadelphia after four innings with the same injury. ... RHP Steve Cishek (hip surgery) made his first rehab appearance at Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday, striking out two in a scoreless inning. He’ll make at least one more appearance with Tacoma before being activated. ... OF Mitch Haniger (right oblique) will swing off a tee for the first time Saturday.
Blue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki (right hamstring) will begin a rehab assignment at Class-A Dunedin on Saturday and is expected to be activated next Wednesday in Atlanta. ... LHP J.A. Happ (elbow) is throwing up to 120 feet on flat ground and will try throwing off a mound next week. Happ remains approximately three weeks away from returning. ... Kendrys Morales (left hamstring) ran without pain during batting practice but did not start for the third straight game.
Mariners: Seattle has yet to name a starter for Saturday.
Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (3-2, 3.38 ERA) pitched six shutout innings against Cleveland in his previous outing, winning for the first time in three starts. The Mariners are the only AL opponent Stroman has never faced.
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