Pearce and Smoak power Blue Jays to 7-2 vic­tory

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - GRE­GORY STRONG

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.

CAR­LOS OSO­RIO, TORONTO STAR

Marco Estrada pitched six in­nings, al­low­ing four hits, three walks and two earned runs.

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