SEATTLE (AP)Dylan Moore homered – with an assist from left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – and Marco Gonzales gave up two earned runs and pitched into the seventh inning, leading the Seattle Mariners to an 8-3 win over the Toronto Blue 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 to the warning track in the second inning. Gurriel tracked it down, but as he made a running leap on the track, the ball went into his glove and immediately popped out and over the wall.
”It was pretty cool. Our entire dugout was stoked because we caught a break,” Gonzales said. ”So many times throughout the year we feel like that ball goes the opposite way, or it happens to us, or something crazy happens, we’re not catching a break. To get a break like that and explode offensively today, it was great to see.”
The Mariners are 42-42, the first time they’ve reached .500 since May 3. Seattle was 10 games under .500 on June 19, and have gone 13-3 since, including winning their last five.
”May was tough for us, but we know we have a really good team,” Suarez said. ”When you win a game, your energy gets 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 opener Anthony Banda (0-1) after four batters. Banda gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in a third of an inning.
”Like I always say, it’s about pitching and we didn’t get it again today,” Blue Jays manager Carlie Montoyo said.
Gonzales (5-9) didn’t need much run support. Gurriel scored on a throwing error by Suarez in the second inning, and Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had back-to-back run-scoring singles in the fifth.
”Again, the story of the game was starting pitching. It’s been really solid through this run we’ve had to get us back to .500,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
Gonzales has gone at least six innings in six of his last seven starts and given up three runs or less in all seven. He’s been a big piece of a Seattle pitching staff which leads the league in ERA since June 3.
”This last little stretch, we’ve just been having a great time and having so much fun playing together,” Gonzales said. ”I like where our group is at.”
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 Friday and was hopeful he could 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 this series. . OF George Springer was out of the lineup Thursday. ”He’s grinding it out, having 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 (left elbow sprain) was activated off the IL before the game and served as designated hitter. France, an All-Star finalist, leads Seattle with a .316 average this season.
Blue Jays: RHP Ross Stripling (4-3, 3.32 ERA) has faced Seattle twice this season as a reliever, allowing two runs on two hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Mariners: RHP rookie George Kirby (2-3, 3.75) makes his 12th start. His last time out, Kirby allowed one run over seven innings in a no-decision against Oakland, his longest outing, and also tied his high with nine strikeouts.
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