The Toronto Blue Jays opened up a four-game series on Thursday night against the Seattle Mariners. The offense came alive while starter Marco Estrada was his reliable, dominating self, allowing 2 earned runs over 6 innings pitched while getting the win in a 7-2 score.
The game didn’t start off positively though for the Jays. Much like last night’s first inning debacle where starter Francisco Liriano gave up a couple runs, Mariners DH Nelson Cruz hit his second home run off Estrada to give the Mariners a 2-0 in the first. The Jays managed to score one run the bottom half of the inning, courtesy of the seemingly unstoppable these days first baseman, Justin Smoak.
Estrada settled down after the rocky start, shutting down the Mariners offence, pitching 6 innings, throwing 107 pitches, giving up 4 hits with 8 strikeouts and 3 walks. The Mariners counterpart, Chase De Jong, pitched 5 innings, allowing 7 hits and 6 earned runs.
The bottom half of the fifth inning saw the Jay bats come alive. They quickly produced two outs before loading the bases from a Kevin Pillar walk, a hit from Ezequiel Carrera followed by a Jose Bautista walk. Smoak then produced a hard single that scored two runs before Steve Pearce followed it up with a three-run shot over the left field wall into the Jays bullpen.
Seattle Mariners Zac Curtis, who was called up from Double-A today, pitched a scoreless sixth inning but not before throwing a pitch that hit Blue Jays third baseman Chris Coghlan squarely in his left wrist and rib cage. Jays leftie, Aaron Loup, pitched a clean and fast top of the seventh inning (seven minutes!) not allowing an earned run or hit.
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Sam Gaviglio made his major league debut in a Mariners uniform pitching the bottom of the seventh and got two quick outs before Smoak hit his sixth home run of the season giving the Jays a 7-2 lead.
Those were the only runs the Jays needed to win to give them their fourteenth win of the season. Leonel Campos, who was just recalled earlier from Buffalo, pitched a smooth ninth where no hits or walks occurred.
It seemed that tonight was one of those nights; where the Jays had great pitching, hitting and defense all working together in tandem. The team gave the fans a great game to watch while picking up a win at the same time.
Joe Biagini (0-1, 2.78 ERA) will take the mound for the Jays tomorrow versus Christian Bergman (0-0, 2.45 ERA) and the Seattle Mariners at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 PM EST.