Paxton wins 3rd straight, Mariners beat Blue Jays 3-2
TORONTO (AP) Canadian James Paxton wasn’t even 10 pitches into his second start in his home country when manager Lloyd McClendon came to the mound for a quick chat.
McClendon didn’t like what he’d seen from Paxton, who’d given up a double and a walk to the first two batters, with a wild pitch on ball four putting runners at the corners.
”My message to him was simple: Don’t worry about the guy on third,” McClendon said. ”Get outs. If he scores, he scores and we’ll come back from that.”
Paxton did as instructed, allowing just a sacrifice fly. Two innings later, his offense had given him the lead and he was back in control.
Kyle Seager homered, Paxton earned his first road win of the season and the Seattle Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Saturday.
Willie Bloomquist hit a two-run double as the Mariners won for the seventh time in 10 meetings with Toronto.
”You’ve got to give skip some credit for (the early mound visit),” Bloomquist said. ”Early on it looked like Pax wasn’t quite locked in and ready to go. Sometimes it takes the skipper to come out there and shake things up for a second. It seemed to lock him in pretty quick.”
Paxton (3-2) won his third straight start, allowing two runs and four hits in six innings. It was his first road win since Sept. 2, 2014, at Oakland. He’d gone 0-3 with a 5.30 ERA in his previous six outings away from home.
”You’re always trying to calm yourself and slow the game down,” Paxton said. ”It might have sped up on me a little bit there in the first inning. Lloyd came out and kind of helped me slow down and get my emotions under control.”
Paxton was hit hard in his first start in Canada on Sept. 22, allowing a career-high nine runs – eight earned – in 2 2-3 innings.
”I feel like I was better prepared this time, and I’ll be better prepared next time also,” he said.
Paxton came in riding a 20-inning scoreless streak but couldn’t make it last beyond the first three batters. Edwin Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly put Seattle in an early hole.
”He did a great job after that to really slow down and pitch his game,” catcher Mike Zunino said.
Tom Wilhelmsen pitched the seventh, Carson Smith worked the eighth and Fernando Rodney finished for his 12th save.
The slumping Blue Jays lost for the 11th time in 14 games and fell a season-high seven games below .500. They’re 2-10 in one-run games and have lost their past six one-run outcomes.
”All losing is frustrating,” manager John Gibbons said. ”I don’t know if it’s any more frustrating (to lose by one).”
Seager tied it in the second with a one-out blast into the second deck in right.
The Mariners took advantage of suspect outfield defense to score two in the third. Chris Taylor doubled over the head of Chris Colabello in right, Rickie Weeks walked and Bloomquist hit a two-run double beyond the reach of Danny Valencia in left.
Colabello cut the deficit to one with a two-out homer to left in the fourth.
Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle (5-4) lost his second straight start, giving up three runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings. It was Buehrle’s first loss in four home starts.
Bloomquist’s double hit near the tip of the wall, just inches away from being his first home run of the season. After coming so close, he was feeling motivated to work on his strength. ”I’m heading to the weight room now to get another set in,” he said.
IN SEARCH OF SIX
Toronto is 4-24 when scoring five runs or fewer.
Blue Jays: SS Ryan Goins twisted his left ankle and fell down in pain as he broke out of the batter’s box on a grounder in the fifth. He received attention from the trainer before hobbling off the field but remained in the game.
Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker (1-4, 7.47) is winless in his past four outings and 1-3 with a 10.71 ERA in five road starts. Walker lost 1-0 in his only career start against Toronto last September 24 despite allowing one run in eight innings.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-4, 4.17) has lost his past two starts. He pitched a career-high 7 1-3 innings against the Angels on May 19, giving up three runs on six hits.