The Toronto Blue Jays made a game of it on Wednesday night, but fell just short of the series sweep as the Seattle Mariners walked off with a win in the bottom of the 12th.
R.A. Dickey was the last in a long line of relievers called upon, allowing Guillermo Heredia to score the winning run on a Robinson Cano sacrifice fly after he reached on a throwing error from Josh Donaldson.
Toronto’s Jays bats were held silent by Felix Hernandez, who allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings. It wasn’t until the ninth inning against the young strikeout machine Edwin Diaz that Toronto broke through.
Otherwise, it was a story of missed opportunity. After Michael Saunders doubled to open the top of the tenth inning, Melvin Upton Jr. entered as a pinch-runner and was moved to third base on a well-placed bunt from Ryan Goins. Kevin Pillar worked a deep at-bat, but was robbed of a base hit on a diving catch from shortstop Mike Freeman to extend the game.
The Blue Jays also opened the eleventh inning with their first two runners reaching base, but a Bautista strikeout and double-play quickly killed any momentum.
Aaron Sanchez was excellent, working six innings of one-run ball while allowing four hits and three walks. The young right-hander struck out five, lowering his season ERA to 3.12.
Sanchez was followed out of the bullpen by Joaquin Benoit, who worked a clean inning as he continues to be a calming force at the back end for Toronto. Brett Cecil opened the eighth inning and handed off to Jason Grilli, who ended it with a strikeout and another trademark celebration after leaving the mound.
Joe Biagini recorded the first two outs of the ninth and gave way to Roberto Osuna, who forced extras with a strikeout then struck out the side in the 10th. Danny Barnes, Aaron Loup, and Ryan Tepera recorded one out each to get the game to Dickey.
Justin Smoak was written into the opening lineup for just the fourth time this month and produced well. The first-baseman singled in his one official at-bat and walked twice before giving way to pinch-runner Dalton Pompey, who was thrown out trying to steal second base in the eighth.
After a day off on Thursday, the Blue Jays open a series against the New York Yankees with Francisco Liriano (7-13, 5.08 ERA) scheduled to start.