SEATTLE (AP) — There seems enough evidence at this point that the expectation should be when Seattle and Toronto get together, it’s likely to have some wild swings of momentum and be tightly contested.
It was that way in the regular season and playoffs last year. And it’s continued this season with Saturday the latest example as the Mariners used a five-run seventh inning against Toronto’s bullpen to rally for a 9-8 victory over the Blue Jays.
J.P. Crawford and Teoscar Hernández both had two-run doubles as the Blue Jays and Mariners played a game of wild momentum swings, clutch hits and big moments that left the heavily mixed crowd of fans from both teams highly entertained.
“Anytime we can sneak out a win like that against anyone it’s huge — especially with a good team like they are,” Crawford said. “It’s a good sign for our team these last two days playing really, really good ball.”
The teams combined for seven home runs, including each side enjoying a three-homer inning. Seattle led 3-0, watched Toronto rally for leads of 5-3 and 7-4, before the Mariners finally took control with their big seventh inning.
Nine of the past 11 meetings between the teams have been decided by one run or in extra innings.
“What a game. Man, can you imagine if you had tickets to Taylor Swift and you watched that game? What a day,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said, a nod to the singer performing across the street at Lumen Field this weekend.
Cal Raleigh homered twice for Seattle, while Dylan Moore and Julio Rodríguez added solo shots. For Rodríguez, it was his first homer since June 24 — aside from the 61 he hit during the Home Run Derby at his home ballpark.
“Moving the line along and putting good at-bats together, that’s kind of what we can control and we’ve done that the last two days,” Seattle’s Ty France said.
Toronto made it interesting in the ninth with three hits off Justin Topa, including Cavan Biggio’s RBI single to pull within 9-8. Topa got Kevin Kiermaier to fly out and George Springer to ground out with the tying run at third base to end it and earn his second save.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Brandon Belt and Kiermaier all homered for the Blue Jays in the fifth inning off Seattle starter Logan Gilbert. Belt and Guerrero went back-to-back and Toronto took a 7-4 lead in the seventh inning after Dalton Varsho hit a two-out RBI single and later scored when Hernandez misplayed Alejandro Kirk’s base hit.
But Seattle had another rally in order. It started when Toronto reliever Nate Pearson (5-2) hit France to start the seventh and gave up a double to Moore. Kolten Wong followed with an RBI single and Crawford was next in line with a two-run double that eluded the reach of Guerrero at first base.
Yimi García entered for Toronto, but for the second straight night Hernández got the better of his former team. In the series opener on Friday, it was a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Less than 24 hours later, it was a two-run double that gave Seattle a 9-7 lead.
“A bullpen that’s been really, really reliable for us the whole season had a little bit of a blip,” Toronto manager John Schneider said. “That’s baseball. It works out like that sometimes.”
Isaiah Campbell (1-0) picked up the win.
THREE HOMER INNINGS
Saturday’s game was the first in the majors where both teams had a three-homer inning since Aug. 19, 2018, when the White Sox and Royals both accomplished that feat.
Toronto starter Kevin Gausman matched his career high allowing four homers, but still made it through six innings with nine strikeouts. Gilbert lasted five innings and allowed five runs on eight hits with five strikeouts.
Seattle placed OF AJ Pollock on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain. Manager Scott Servais said the hamstring had been bothering Pollock coming back from the All-Star break and was aggravated while running the bases in Friday’s game. Taylor Trammell was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma for outfield depth. Seattle also swapped young relievers in the bullpen with RHP Isaiah Campbell recalled and RHP Prelander Berroa optioned.
Toronto’s Hyun Jin Ryu threw six innings at Triple-A Buffalo on Friday and is expected to join the Blue Jays in Los Angeles early next week. There’s no set plan for his return to the rotation. Ryu has missed the entire season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Newly acquired reliever Génesis Cabrera is expected to join the team in Seattle.
Blue Jays: RHP Alek Manoah (2-8, 6.18) will make his third start since rejoining Toronto’s rotation. Manoah lasted three innings and allowed four runs and walked five in his last start against San Diego.
Mariners: RHP Bryan Woo (1-2, 4.74) will try to rebound after lasting just 3 1/3 innings and giving up six earned runs in his last start against the Twins.
Seattle 9, Toronto 8
|Guerrero Jr. 1b||5||2||2||1||0||1||.272|
1-ran for Kirk in the 9th.
E_Hernández (2). LOB_Toronto 11, Seattle 2. 2B_Guerrero Jr. (21), Moore (2), Crawford (21), Hernández (17). HR_Kiermaier (5), off Gilbert; Belt (7), off Gilbert; Guerrero Jr. (16), off Gilbert; Raleigh 2 (14), off Gausman; Moore (2), off Gausman; Rodríguez (14), off Gausman. RBIs_Chapman (42), Kiermaier (22), Belt 2 (23), Guerrero Jr. (62), Varsho (32), Biggio (19), Raleigh 2 (38), Moore (4), Rodríguez (51), Wong (16), Crawford 2 (35), Hernández 2 (55). SB_Wong (1), Biggio (3).
Runners left in scoring position_Toronto 7 (Springer 4, Bichette 2, Biggio); Seattle 1 (Ford). RISP_Toronto 4 for 13; Seattle 3 for 5.
Runners moved up_Bichette, Guerrero Jr..
|Pearson, L, 5-2, BS, 1-3||1-3||3||4||4||0||0||16||4.75|
|Campbell, W, 1-0||1-3||1||0||0||1||0||18||0.00|
|Muñoz, H, 10||1||0||0||0||0||1||13||2.66|
|Topa, S, 2-3||1||3||1||1||0||1||20||2.84|
Inherited runners-scored_García 1-1, Brash 2-0, Campbell 1-1. HBP_Campbell (Biggio), Pearson (France), García (Rodríguez). WP_Speier.
Umpires_Home, Emil Jimenez; First, Adam Hamari; Second, Nick Mahrley; Third, Vic Carapazza.
T_2:54. A_44,921 (47,929).