SEATTLE — Kendrys Morales homered in the seventh inning to back Mike Hauschild’s impressive Blue Jays debut, and Toronto beat the Seattle Mariners 7-3 on Thursday night.
With two outs in the seventh, a runner on first base and the score tied 2-2, Morales hit a fastball from Juan Nicasio (1-6) over the wall in right-centre field. It was Morales’ 13th home run of the season.
Hauschild (1-0), signed by Toronto after being released by Houston, was pitching in his first game in the majors since April 19, 2017. He entered the game in the second inning after Nelson Cruz’s two-run homer off reliever-turned-spot-starter Tyler Clippard gave the Mariners a quick 2-0 lead in the first. Hauschild pitched six scoreless innings, limiting the Mariners to four singles and one walk while striking out five.
The Blue Jays tied the score at 2-2 in the top of the second against Mariners starter Felix Hernandez. Yangervis Solarte led off with a single and Teoscar Hernandez doubled him to third. With one out, Luke Maile walked to load the bases, and Devon Travis had a two-run single.
Felix Hernandez, whose spot in the Seattle starting rotation has been in question of late, gave up two runs in five innings.
The Mariners cut the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth when Cruz hit a solo homer to right field off Toronto reliever Joe Biagini. But the Blue Jays scored three times in the top of the ninth on two Mariners errors and Solarte’s two-run homer.
Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon exited the game with a team trainer in the ninth after landing awkwardly while trying to catch third baseman Kyle Seager’s throw.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 2, 2018
Blue Jays: Manager John Gibbons said outfielder Kevin Pillar, on the disabled list since July 15 (sprained sternoclavicular joint) could join the team in Seattle and be activated without rehabbing in the minor leagues. “We won’t send him all the way across the country for a rehab game,” Gibbons said. … Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was named American League Rookie of the Month for July. He led the AL with a .423 batting average in the month.
Mariners: Closer Edwin Diaz was named AL Reliever of the Month for the second consecutive month after going 9 for 9 in save opportunities and posting a 0.00 ERA in 10 appearances in July. Diaz leads the majors with 40 saves. “He had a good month,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He’s had a lot of good months. I hope he’s got two more good months in him.”
Blue Jays: LHP Ryan Borucki (0-2, 2.83) will get the start for Toronto in the second game of this four-game series. Borucki has earned quality starts in five of his six starts this season, the best percentage of any Blue Jays starter.
Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (12-5, 3.37) starts for Seattle on Friday night. Gonzales has won five consecutive starts, allowing six total earned runs across 34 1/3 innings pitched in that span.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS