Morales, Hauschild key Blue Jays’ 7-3 win over Mariners

Toronto Blue Jays' Aledmys Diaz, right, greets Justin Smoak after the team's baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Seattle. The Blue Jays won 7-3. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SEATTLE (AP) Mike Hauschild signed his Blue Jays contract a half-hour before and then came on to pitch six impressive innings of relief in his first game in the majors in more than 15 months.

Kendrys Morales had a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning to back Hauschild, and Toronto beat the Seattle Mariners 7-3 Thursday night.

Hauschild, who was released by Houston on Sunday, figured he’d be headed for Triple-A Buffalo for the weekend until the Blue Jays picked him up. Now, Toronto Jays might have the missing piece it’s been looking for in the starting rotation, and Hauschild has a lot of phone calls and text messages to return.

”It’s pretty crazy,” said Hauschild, who last pitched in the majors on April 19, 2017. ”It kind of feels like a dream, just based off my last week. A couple days ago I was just waiting to figure out which team I was playing for. And now I’m in the big leagues. So it’s definitely a whirlwind of emotions going through.”

Hauschild (1-0) entered the game in the second inning after Nelson Cruz’s two-run homer off reliever-turned-spot-starter Tyler Clippard gave the Mariners a quick 2-0 lead in the first. Hauschild put up zeroes for the next six innings while spotting a 90 mph fastball and putting away hitters with an effective slider, limiting the Mariners to four singles and one walk while striking out five.

”Sometimes things are meant to be,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ”I thought he did a tremendous job. He threw strikes, he threw anything at any time, which is key to pitch in the big leagues. He looked like he belonged.”

The Blue Jays tied the score at 2-2 in the top of the second against Mariners starter Felix Hernandez. Yangervis Solarte led off with a single and Teoscar Hernandez, who had four hits in the game, doubled him to third. With one out, Luke Maile walked to load the bases, and Devon Travis had a two-run single.

But with two outs in the seventh, a runner on first base and the score still tied 2-all, Morales hit a fastball from Juan Nicasio (1-6) over the wall in right-center field to give the Blue Jays the cushion they’d need. It was Morales’ 13th home run of the season.

Felix Hernandez, whose spot in the Seattle starting rotation has been in question of late, gave up two runs in five innings.

”I thought Felix kept us in the game,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. ”It wasn’t easy for him. I think he threw 90-92 pitches in five innings, but he gave us a chance, and, I think, coming into the game tonight, that was what we were hoping for.”

The Mariners cut the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth when Cruz hit a solo homer to right field off Toronto reliever Joe Biagini. But the Blue Jays scored three times in the top of the ninth on two Mariners errors and Solarte’s two-run homer.

Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon exited the game with a team trainer in the ninth after landing awkwardly while trying to catch third baseman Kyle Seager’s throw.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: Gibbons said outfielder Kevin Pillar, on the disabled list since July 15 (sprained sternoclavicular joint) could join the team in Seattle and be activated without rehabbing in the minor leagues. ”We won’t send him all the way across the country for a rehab game,” Gibbons said. … Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was named American League Rookie of the Month for July. He led the AL with a .423 batting average in the month.

Mariners: Closer Edwin Diaz was named AL Reliever of the Month for the second consecutive month after going 9 for 9 in save opportunities and posting a 0.00 ERA in 10 appearances in July. Diaz leads the majors with 40 saves. ”He had a good month,” Servais said. ”He’s had a lot of good months. I hope he’s got two more good months in him.”

UP NEXT:

Blue Jays: LHP Ryan Borucki (0-2, 2.83) will get the start for Toronto in the second game of this four-game series. Borucki has earned quality starts in five of his six starts this season, the best percentage of any Blue Jays starter.

Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (12-5, 3.37) starts for Seattle on Friday night. Gonzales has won five consecutive starts, allowing six total earned runs across 34 1/3 innings pitched in that span.

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