SEATTLE – A baserunning blunder that resulted in a triple play came back to haunt the Toronto Blue Jays, who let another opportunity slip away on the road.
Franklin Gutierrez homered with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday to give the Seattle Mariners a 6-5 victory over the Blue Jays, who have not won consecutive road games since June 14.
“It’s disappointing,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of the 3-3 record on the West Coast road trip.
“We’re not in a position to do this. Time’s not on our side. We’re chasing some pretty good teams. Frustrating, tough game.”
Gutierrez jumped on an 0-2 pitch from Aaron Loup (2-5) and drove it over the wall in left-centre for his third homer as the Mariners overcame a 5-3 deficit.
“I had two strikes at that moment and obviously you have to try to put the ball in play. I was ready for anything,” said Gutierrez, who missed all of last season with an arthritic condition in his back. “He threw a fastball right there, put a good swing on it and it went out.”
Nelson Cruz brought the Mariners even at 5-5 in the seventh with his 25th home run, a two-run shot to left off Bo Schultz.
Joe Beimel (2-1), who struck out one in one relief inning, picked up the win for the Mariners.
With Toronto leading 4-3, the Mariners turned a triple play in the fourth inning. Ezequiel Carrera drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on Kevin Pillar’s single. Ryan Goings bounced out to first and Pillar was hung up between first and second, and Carrera was stuck between third and home. Both runners ended up at third base and each was tagged out by catcher Mike Zunino.
“There’s no excuses. I think we’ve all played this game long enough, we know what to do in that situation,” Pillar said. “We just didn’t execute. Whether he made it clear or not, there’s no need for either of us to leave the base there. In that situation, we’re better off standing there and making him force one of us off the base.”
Zunino said he wasn’t sure why Carrera came off the bag.
“In that situation, you’re told to just tag both guys and let the umpire tell you who’s out, even though Carrera should have been there, and he just sort of stumbled off the bag and I tried to hold the tag on to him,” Zunino said.
Carrera and Josh Donaldson each had a solo homer for the Blue Jays, while Austin Jackson hit a solo shot for the Mariners.
The Blue Jays pieced together three runs in the second for a 4-1 lead against Mariners starter Taijuan Walker. Seattle cut the lead to 4-3 in the third, but managed just two runs despite five hits and a walk.
Carrera opened the seventh with his third home run to extend the lead to 5-3.
Donaldson staked Toronto to a 1-0 lead in the first, ripping a 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall for his 24th home run. Jackson countered for the Mariners, leading off the bottom half with his fifth homer.
Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle, who had not allowed more than two earned runs in his previous nine starts, was tagged for three runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. Buehrle also walked Gutierrez with two outs in the third inning, his first walk since June 26 vs. Texas. He had faced 127 consecutive batters without issuing a walk.
“We’ve got to go out there and play every day,” Buehrle said. “The Yankees, they’re not giving up. We’ve got to obviously just play our game and hopefully win games when they start losing games. I don’t think they’re going to go on the roll that they are right now, but it could get to the point where it’s too late. We’ve got to keep our heads up and keep on playing. We ran into some good teams and some good pitching. Just the way it goes.”
NO BASE FOR BAUTISTA: Toronto’s Jose Batista went 0-for-5, snapping his 36-game on-base streak against the Mariners. During that stretch, dating to July 2009, he is hitting .329 (42-for-124) with eight homers, nine doubles, 22 RBI and 26 walks, with 31 runs scored. It also snapped his 16-game hitting streak at Safeco Field.
BUEHRLE PICK OFFS: Buehrle picked Seager off first base in the first inning, his 101st career pick off. He trails only Andy Pettitte, who had 103.
Blue Jays: LHP Robbie Ray (3-5, 2.72 ERA) has just one victory in six starts since June 15. He is coming off his shortest start of the season, when he allowed five runs – four earned – and five hits in 4 2/3 innings in a 5-3 loss to Miami.
Mariners: Rookie LHP Mike Montgomery (4-4, 3.25 ERA) is looking to regain the form that resulted in 20 consecutive scoreless innings, including back-to-back shutouts in June. He is 0-2 in his last three starts.