Eugenio Suarez homers in the 11th Mariners beat Blue Jays 5-2

SEATTLE (AP) — It took him more than 1,000 career games, but Eugenio Suarez finally got to experience the exhilaration of hitting a game-ending home run.

So how did you feel?

“I just enjoyed the game and like I always say, I keep my energy even. Even if I didn’t do anything, I just try to keep my energy and enjoy this game. This game is a lot of fun,” Suarez said.

Suarez hit a three-run homer off Sergio Romo in the 11th inning and the Seattle Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Friday for their season-best sixth straight win.

Suarez didn’t miss a 2-1 slider from Romo (0-1) and kept it just down the left-field line. It was his 15th homer of the season and improved Seattle to 43-42, the first time the Mariners have been above .500 since going 12-11 on May 2.

Seattle has won 14 of its last 17.

“Obviously we’re doing really well right now,” Seattle coach Scott Servais said. “We all know how baseball goes. It is up and down and it is everywhere. But you have to take advantage of the streak and right now we are in a good one”.

Romo threw just four pitches in his brief outing. The veteran was designated for assignment by Seattle late last month before signing with the Blue Jays.

Former Toronto reliever Ryan Borucki (1-0) got the win, pitching the 10th and 11th innings without allowing a run. Borucki got out of the 10th thanks to Matt Chapman who lined up a double play. In the 11th, Chapman reached third with one out, but Borucki struck out Cavan Biggio and got a fly ball from George Springer.

“I was in a different world, I felt like. And it was good to really step up,” Borucki said. “I was telling the guys that I’ve never felt like this in my life, just the joy of being able to do what I did today.”

Seattle tried to win it in the 10th on JP Crawford’s straight single to left field. Third base coach Manny Acta made the aggressive decision to send Abraham Toro in from second, but Lordes Gurriel Jr.’s throw hit home and Toro was easily eliminated.

Dylan Moore had an RBI double in the second inning, and Crawford added an RBI double in the third that Julio Rodriguez scored from first base. Rodriguez nearly homered to start the game, but his shot hit the top of the wall in center field and he was ejected after tripping and falling between second and third.

Toronto starter Ross Stripling allowed two runs on seven hits in five innings.

Gurriel hit an RBI single in the second inning and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubled and scored on Teoscar Hernandez’s RBI single in the fifth.

“We have a lot of baseball left. I’m sure this lineup will heat up again and we’re going to score runs,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “But again, credit to our launch that gave us a shot today.”

Seattle starter George Kirby lasted 4 1/3 innings and allowed 10 hits, but the Blue Jays were only able to drive in two runs despite constant base traffic. Toronto left the bases loaded in the fourth inning and left runners on second and third in the fifth.

STAR NODS

Toronto finished with a pair of All-Star starters after Guerrero and catcher Alejandro Kirk won the final vote to start their positions for the July 18 game in Los Angeles.

It will be the second All-Star appearance for Guerrero, but the first for Kirk, who entered Friday batting .312 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs.

Guerrero beat out Seattle Ty France for the pass to first base.

STAFF MOVEMENT

Toronto activated RHP Yimi Garcia from the 15-day disabled list and sent RHP Casey Lawrence to Triple-A Buffalo. Garcia had been out since June 22 with a back strain.

COACHES ROOM

Blue Jays: Toronto hasn’t named a starter for Sunday’s series finale, and Montoyo said he wanted to see how the next two days went before settling on a starter. He also said there’s still a chance RHP Kevin Gausman (ankle) is healthy enough to start. Gausman was scheduled to start Thursday but was eliminated after taking a bruised ankle in his last start.

Mariners: RHP Ken Giles left the game with back shoulder strain with one out in the eighth inning and in the middle of an at-bat. Giles got the first out of the inning, but then called for a trainer after losing 3-1 to Santiago Espinal.

UNTIL NEXT TIME

Blue Jays: RHP Alek Manoah (9-3, 2.33) looks to bounce back from a loss in his last start and build on his All-Star resume. Manoah allowed four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings in his last start against Oakland. The four earned runs equaled the season’s maximum allowed.

Mariners: LHP Robbie Ray (7-6, 3.62) is facing his former team for the first time. Ray did not travel with the Mariners to Toronto when the teams met in May due to border restrictions related to the COVID-19 vaccine. Ray is 4-1 with a 0.80 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings over his last five starts.

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