Cana­dian Pax­ton hand­cuffs Toronto bat­ters

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - MELISSA COUTO

TORONTO — Cana­dian left-han­der James Pax­ton struck out nine over seven in­nings and Seth Smith drove in the tiebreak­ing run in the fifth as the Seat­tle Mariners edged the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 on Fri­day.

The Lad­ner, B.C., na­tive’s only real mis­take came in the sec­ond in­ning, when he al­lowed a solo home run to his for­mer Seat­tle team­mate and fel­low Cana­dian Michael Saun­ders.

Pax­ton (3-4) gave up just three hits and re­tired 12 straight af­ter the homer to Saun­ders. A walk to Josh Thole in the sixth in­ning snapped that streak.

Josh Donaldson, with a dou­ble, and Troy Tu­low­itzki, with a sin­gle, ac­counted for the rest of Toronto’s (54-43) of­fence off Pax­ton.

Marco Estrada (5-4) shoul­dered the loss, al­low­ing two runs on seven hits while hit­ting two bat­ters, walk­ing one and strik­ing out two in his first start since July 2.

The 33-year-old right-han­der went on the dis­abled list with a back in­jury prior to the all-star break.

Robin­son Cano drove in the other run for the Mariners (49-47) on a fielder’s choice. Ed­win Diaz struck out two more Toronto bat­ters in the eighth and Steve Cishek rung up three in the ninth for a to­tal 14 K’s.

Toronto threat­ened in the ninth with a two-out walk from Ed­win En­car­na­cion and a sin­gle by Tu­low­itzki. Saun­ders struck out to end the game.

For­mer Blue Jay Adam Lind hit a dou­ble in his re­turn to Rogers Cen­tre since be­ing traded to Mil­wau­kee for Estrada be­fore the 2015 sea­son.

Estrada got off to a rough start in the first in­ning, al­low­ing a triple to Seat­tle’s lead­off man Nori Aoki and hit­ting the sec­ond bat­ter, Smith, in the span of three pitches.

Aoki scored on a fielder’s choice from Cano to give the Mariners a quick 1-0 lead.

Saun­ders evened the score with his solo shot off Pax­ton in the sec­ond in­ning, send­ing a 3-1 fast­ball over the cen­tre-field fence for his 17th homer of the sea­son.

Smith put the Mariners up 2-1 when his dou­ble off Estrada in the fifth plated Shawn O’Mal­ley from sec­ond base. Smith’s hit was Seat­tle’s sixth of the night, end­ing Estrada’s im­pres­sive streak of 13 con­sec­u­tive starts al­low­ing five hits or fewer.

Estrada ran into more trou­ble in the sixth, load­ing the bases with one out on a sin­gle, walk and hit bat­ter.

A strike­out to O’Mal­ley roused the Rogers Cen­tre crowd, and a shal­low fly ball caught by a for­ward-slid­ing Kevin Pil­lar brought the 46,737 to their feet.

NOTES: Thole started in place of Rus­sell Martin, who passed out and banged his knee while tak­ing a shower. An MRI showed no struc­tural dam­age . ... Cana­dian ten­nis player Vasek Pospisil threw out the cer­e­mo­nial first pitch . ... The Blue Jays con­tinue their three-game se­ries against Seat­tle on Satur­day af­ter­noon. R.A. Dickey (7-10, 4.11 earned-run av­er­age) starts for Toronto . ... Hisashi Iwakuma (10-6, 4.01 ERA) coun­ters for the Mariners.

DAN HAMIL­TON, USA TO­DAY SPORTS

Blue Jays cen­tre-fielder Kevin Pil­lar makes a slid­ing catch at Rogers Cen­tre Fri­day night. The Blue Jays lost 2-1.

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