Pearce and Smoak power Blue Jays to 7-2 victory
TORONTO — Steve Pearce hit a three-run homer and Marco Estrada had eight strikeouts over six innings as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Seattle Mariners, 7-2, in American League baseball action Thursday night at Rogers Centre.
Pearce’s blast capped a five-run fifth inning against Seattle starter Chase De Jong. Justin Smoak hit a solo shot and drove in four runs for the Blue Jays, who have won four of their last five games.
Estrada (2-2) found his groove after spotting Seattle a pair of early runs. He allowed four hits and three walks.
Toronto (14-21) improved to 3-1 on its ninegame homestand. The Mariners (17-18) had their four-game winning streak come to an end.
The Blue Jays outhit the Mariners 9-6. The teams will continue the four-game series Friday night.
Jean Segura led off the game with a double and scored when Nelson Cruz hammered a 1-2 pitch into the second level of seats in centre field. It was his eighth homer of the year.
Kevin Pillar and Ezequiel Carrera singled in Toronto’s half of the frame. Pillar halved Seattle’s lead when he scored on a single by Smoak. The top of the Toronto order was active again in the fifth inning. Pillar drew a two-out walk and moved to second on a Carrera single.
Jose Bautista drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases for Smoak, who hit a flare to shallow right field that pushed two runs across and gave Toronto a 3-2 lead.
Pearce followed by launching a 1-2 pitch over the wall to make it a five-run frame. It was his fourth home run of the season.
Smoak tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning. He turned on a 1-2 pitch from Sam Gaviglio for his sixth homer of the year.
De Jong (0-3) worked five innings and allowed six earned runs, seven hits and three walks. He had one strikeout.
Aaron Loup, Jason Grilli and Leonel Campos threw one inning of scoreless relief apiece for Toronto. Announced attendance was 29,120 and the game took two hours 45 minutes to play. NOTES: The Blue Jays placed left-hander Francisco Liriano on the 10-day disabled list due to shoulder inflammation and recalled Campos from triple-A Buffalo . ... Toronto right-hander Joe Biagini (0-1, 2.78) is scheduled to start Friday night against Seattle’s Christian Bergman (0-0, 2.45) . ... Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (quadriceps) was a late scratch from the lineup. He was replaced at second base by Mike Freeman . ... Darwin Barney replaced Chris Coghlan at third base in the eighth inning. Coghlan was hit in the hand by a pitch in the sixth.
Marco Estrada pitched six innings, allowing four hits, three walks and two earned runs.