SEATTLE (AP) — Teoscar Hernández lined a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to score Jose Caballero and the Seattle Mariners rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
Hernández jumped on the first pitch from Jordan Romano (4-5) and hit a line drive over the head of George Springer in right field and off the wall, allowing Caballero to jog home with the winning run.
Seattle trailed 2-0, but scored once in the seventh, tied the game in the eighth and Hernández’s third hit of the game was the winner in the ninth. It was the eighth time in the past 10 games between the teams that the outcome was decided by either one run or in extra innings, including last year’s AL wild card series.
Caballero walked on a 3-2 pitch to open the ninth and was sacrificed to second by J.P. Crawford. Toronto intentionally walked Julio Rodríguez and Caballero moved to third on Eugenio Suarez’s deep fly ball before Hernández’s winning hit.
Paul Sewald (3-0) pitched the top of the ninth to earn the win.
Danny Jansen homered for Toronto and Dalton Varsho reached on an infield single and later scored on a wild pitch in the seventh inning to give the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.
Seattle pulled within 2-1 in the seventh on Mike Ford’s bloop single that scored Ty France and drew even in the eighth after Tom Murphy’s single and France’s RBI double.
Jansen’s home run was his 12th of the season and the ninth time one of his homers has either tied the game or given Toronto the lead.
Both starting pitchers were excellent before turning over to the bullpens.
Toronto’s Yusei Kikuchi tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings facing his former team for the second time in his two seasons with the Blue Jays. Kikuchi allowed only four hits, three of which were infield singles, struck out eight and walked only one.
Kikuchi had not pitched past the fifth inning in each of his past three starts and had allowed 10 earned runs during that span. When he faced Seattle last season, Kikuchi allowed one hit in six shutout innings.
Seattle’s Bryce Miller put together another terrific outing of his rookie season, with his only hiccup the home run allowed to Jansen. Miller allowed three hits and struck out six on 75 pitches. Seattle manager Scott Servais said they were going to remain cautious with Miller’s pitch count after a stint on the injured list due to a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
The Blue Jays added some depth to their bullpen acquiring LHP Génesis Cabrera from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for minor league catcher Sammy Hernandez. Cabrera was 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA in 32 appearances this season. He was designated for assignment earlier this week.
Toronto designated for assignment RHP Trent Thornton to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Blue Jays: RHP Kevin Gausman (7-5, 3.03) has lost his last two decisions, both in games where the Blue Jays were shut out. Gausman will face Seattle for the second time this season. He threw seven shutout innings with 13 strikeouts against the Mariners in April.
Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (8-5, 3.65) labored through five innings but picked up the victory in his last start against Minnesota. In his last three starts, Gilbert has allowed three earned runs in 21 innings of work.
Tim Booth, The Associated Press