Mariners fall to Blue Jays, lose another pitcher to injury
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays got another home run from Jose Bautista. The Seattle Mariners lost another starting pitcher to an injury.
So it was more of the same for each team.
Bautista hit a three-run shot and Kendrys Morales also went deep, helping Toronto beat Seattle 7-2 on Saturday for its sixth win in seven games.
The Mariners promoted right-hander Ryan Weber from Triple-A Tacoma to start against the Blue Jays, and he left after 3 2/3 innings with a sore shoulder.
Seattle already has four starting pitchers on the disabled list. Right-handers Felix Hernandez (shoulder) and Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder) and left-handers James Paxton (forearm) and Drew Smyly (elbow) are not expected back before June.
“It’s been a wild year so far,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said with a rueful smile. “We’re six or seven weeks into this thing and we had our ninth starter out there today. It’s hard to imagine you could ever plan for anything like this.”
Weber was not available to speak to reporters. He had left the stadium to see a doctor.
“Any time a pitcher grabs his shoulder like that, it’s pretty significant,” Servais said. “We’ll have a better idea tonight or tomorrow of where he’s at.”
Toronto also has dealt with injuries. The Blue Jays have three starting pitchers and three regulars on the disabled list, a group that accounts for $84 million in salary.
“It kind of came as a blessing that Seattle came in here banged up a little bit with their pitching staff,” Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar said. “We’re trying to capitalize on them not having their entire rotation.”
Pillar had three hits, raising his AL-leading total to 47. Devon Travis became the first player to steal home for the Blue Jays since June 2, 2015, scoring on a double steal in the eighth.
Dominic Leone (1-0) got one out for the win as Toronto improved to 8-4 in May.
The Mariners have dropped three in a row since a four-game winning streak.
Bautista broke a 2-all tie with a drive into the center-field party deck off Nick Vincent (1-1) in the seventh.
“He’s a hot hitter right now,” Vincent said. “I probably should have kind of pitched around him.”
After going deep just twice in his first 33 games, Bautista has homered three times in four games.
“He’s not missing the balls he’s been fouling off,” manager John Gibbons said. “Now he’s starring to hit them. He’s taking a good healthy swing.”
Toronto opened the scoring on Ezequiel Carrera’s two-out RBI single in the third, but the Mariners responded with Ben Gamel’s RBI double in the fifth. It was Seattle’s first run since the first inning on Thursday, snapping a 21-inning scoreless streak.
Jarrod Dyson gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead with an RBI single in the sixth. Morales tied it again when he connected off Tony Zych for his seventh of the season in the bottom half.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman allowed two runs in six innings. Stroman struck out nine, one shy of his season high.
When Travis lost the handle on his bat while swinging in the fifth, the bat sailed into the stands and struck a fan seated behind the third base dugout.
Catcher Russell Martin was the last Blue Jays player to steal home, accomplishing the feat in the second half of a doubleheader at Washington. A catcher was also involved in Saturday’s double steal: Luke Maile stole second as Travis came home from third.
Mariners: 2B Robinson Cano (right quadriceps) missed his third straight game. … Iwakuma is expected to miss four to six weeks.
Blue Jays: Morales returned after sitting out the previous three games with a sore left hamstring.
Mariners: LHP Ariel Miranda (3-2, 5.00 ERA) makes his eighth start of the season Sunday. Seattle has won each of Miranda’s past three starts. He has never faced the Blue Jays.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (0-1, 4.05 ERA) will be activated off the disabled list to start Sunday. Sanchez returned from a blister issue against Tampa Bay on April 30 but lasted only one inning.