SEATTLE (AP) — Dylan Moore homered — assisted by left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. — and Marco Gonzales allowed two earned runs and pitched into the seventh inning, leading the Seattle Mariners to an 8-game victory -3 over the Toronto Blues. Jays on Thursday night.
Cal Raleigh and Eugenio Suarez also homered and drove in three runs for Seattle. But, Moore’s unusual home run was the highlight.
Moore hit a deep fly ball to the warning track in the second inning. Gurriel tracked it down, but when he jumped up the court, the ball entered his glove and immediately came out and went over the wall.
“It was great. Our entire bench was in high spirits because we took a break,” Gonzales said. “Many times throughout the year we feel like that ball is going the wrong way, or it happens to us, or something crazy happens, we’re not taking a breather. Getting a break like that and exploding offensively today, that was great to see.”
The Mariners are 42-42, the first time they’ve hit .500 since May 3. Seattle was 10 games under .500 on June 19 and has gone 13-3 since then, including wins in its last five.
“May was difficult for us, but we know we have a very good team,” said Suarez. “When you win a game, your energy goes up and your confidence is better.”
Santiago Espinal had three hits for the Blue Jays, who have lost six of their last seven games.
Seattle’s offense knocked out Toronto starter Anthony Banda (0-1) after four batters. Banda allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in a third inning.
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“Like I always say, it’s all about pitching and we didn’t have it again today,” Blue Jays manager Carlie Montoyo said.
Gonzales (5-9) didn’t need much running support. Gurriel scored on a throwing error by Suarez in the second inning, and Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit back-to-back singles to score runs in the fifth.
“Again, the story of the game was the initial release. He’s been really solid during this streak that we’ve had to get back to .500,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
Gonzales has pitched at least six innings in six of his last seven starts and has allowed three runs or fewer in all seven. He has been a big part of Seattle’s pitching staff that leads the league in ERA since June 3.
“In this last stretch, we’ve had a great time and we’ve had a lot of fun playing together,” said Gonzales. “I like where our group is.”
Blue Jays: RHP Kevin Gausman, who left his last start on Saturday after being hit in the right foot by a line drive, had an MRI on his right ankle that showed a bone bruise but no fracture. He plans to throw a bullpen on Friday and was hoping to start on Sunday or Monday. … LHP Yusei Kikuchi was placed on the 15-day IL with a neck strain. … RHP Yimi Garcia (back strain) is with the team in Seattle and could be activated in this series. … OF George Springer was out of the lineup Thursday. “He’s working hard, he’s got aches and pains, and we haven’t been able to give him a full day off,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said.
Mariners: 1B Ty France (sprained left elbow) was activated from the injured list before the game and served as designated hitter. All-Star finalists France lead Seattle with a .316 average this season.
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Blue Jays: RHP Ross Stripling (4-3, 3.32 ERA) has faced Seattle twice this season in relief, allowing two runs on two hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Mariners: RHP rookie George Kirby (2-3, 3.75) is making his 12th start. In his final time out, Kirby allowed one run in seven innings of a no-decision against Oakland, his longest outing, and also tied his record with nine strikeouts.
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