By Andrew Erickson and Gregor Chisholm
MLB.com |@gregorMLB |
SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez forged a tie for the American League lead in wins with No. 12 as the Mariners beat the Blue Jays, 5-2, in Friday night's series opener at Safeco Field.
Mariners designated hitter Mark Trumbo hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the fourth and second baseman Robinson Cano followed with a two-run triple in the fifth to secure Seattle's first set of back-to-back wins since June 30 and July 1.
"I think the only significance is we're starting to play they type of baseball we're capable of playing," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. "I think it's indicative of the effort our guys are putting forth and tonight was no different."
Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes reached on an infield single and later scored in the first to give Toronto a 1-0 lead, one starter Marco Estrada didn't hold for long. The 31-year-old right-hander allowed a season-high-tying five runs on eight hits over four-plus innings.
"He really never found his groove," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "You could see spurts of it, we've seen him so good, it was like he was a little bit out of whack. Cano got him to open it up right there but he's gutsy, he made some good pitches at times and that one inning they knocked him around a little bit. That's the way it goes."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Trum-bomb: The Mariners couldn't capitalize against Estrada early on, stranding runners on first and third in the second, but changed their fortune with one swing of the bat in the fourth. Seth Smith squirted an infield single down the third-base line to lead off the inning and Trumbo launched a 1-0 fastball from Estrada 355 feet to right field to give Seattle a 2-1 lead.
"Mark is very capable of carrying this club for a 10, 12-game stretch," McClendon said. "He's a big part of us and we need him to be the guy that he's capable of being."
Cano clears 'em: Cano continued his July hot streak Friday, lacing a 1-0 fastball to right-center to triple and score Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz with no outs in the fifth. The triple, which extended the Mariners' lead to 4-1, was Cano's first of the season, but it was his ninth hit in five games. It also chased Estrada.
"Honestly, no. I thought it wasn't going to be close," said Cano when asked if he thought he had a triple off the bat. "But, play at the the plate and I kept going and it worked out."
Bautista keeps climbing:Jose Bautista took sole possession of second place on the Blue Jays' all-time home run list with a solo shot to left field in the sixth. It was homer No. 224 for Bautista in a Toronto uniform, which moved him past Vernon Wells. Carlos Delgado is first with 336. According to Statcast™, Bautista's 21st long ball of the season was projected to travel 374 feet and left his bat at 104 mph.
"When [Hernandez] is pitching, you try to score runs however you can. When he gets going, it's going to be tough to score because he's one of the best pitchers in the game." -- Reyes
"Today we played in Toronto, we didn't play in Seattle. Wow, that was unbelievable." -- Hernandez, on the Blue Jays fans' turnout Friday
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Trumbo's two-run shot in the third snapped a streak of 40 innings without a home run allowed by Toronto. The five earned runs charged to Estrada also ended a streak of six consecutive games of two earned runs or fewer by Blue Jays starters.
WHAT'S NEXT Blue Jays: Right-hander Drew Hutchison is considered probable to make Saturday's 4:10 p.m. ET start against the Mariners. Hutchison was scratched from his outing in each of the past two days because of flu-like symptoms, but he's expected to take the mound for the matinee affair. If Hutchison isn't able to go, the Blue Jays will be scrambling to find a spot starter and could opt to promote veteran lefty Randy Wolf from Triple-A or hand the game to the bullpen.
Mariners: Left-hander J.A. Happ takes the mound against his former team in the second game of a three-game series Saturday at 1:10 p.m. PT at Safeco Field. Happ is winless in his last two starts, but posted a strong performance his last time out, allowing three runs on four hits over seven innings in a 5-4 loss to the Tigers on Monday.