Pearce, Smoak hit homers as Blue Jays beat Mariners 7-2

Toronto Blue Jays' Justin Smoak (14) is congratulated by Steve Pearce after hitting a home run against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) Marco Estrada rebounded nicely from a rough first inning against the red-hot Seattle Mariners.

Steve Pearce hit a three-run home run, Justin Smoak had a solo homer and finished with four RBIs, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Mariners 7-2 on Thursday night, snapping Seattle’s win streak at four games.

After giving up two runs in the first, Estrada (2-2) held Seattle scoreless for the next five innings, helping Toronto win for the fourth time in five games.

”He shut us down tonight,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

Smoak went 3 for 3 with a walk against his former team. He had an RBI single in the first, walked in the fourth, singled home two runs in the fifth, and connected off rookie Sam Gaviglio in the seventh.

”He’s a little more aggressive early in the count, and he’s laying off that breaking ball,” manager John Gibbons said.

Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer but Seattle’s offense came up empty after the first.

After scoring 21 runs in their previous two games, the Mariners jumped on Estrada in the opening frame. Jean Segura led off with a double and Cruz drilled a one-out homer into the center field party deck, his eighth.

”That first inning was kind of tough,” Estrada said. ”Even the outs were kind of hit pretty hard. I’m glad I was able to turn things around and make better pitches after that.”

Smoak halved the deficit with an RBI single off Chase De Jong in the bottom half.

Toronto took the lead by scoring five times in a two-out rally in the fifth. Smoak lined a bases-loaded single over the head of shortstop Segura, who had shifted out behind second base, and Pearce followed with his fourth home run.

”It kind of got away from us pretty quickly there,” De Jong said.

Aaron Loup, Jason Grilli and Leonel Campos each worked one inning of relief for the Blue Jays.

De Jong (0-3) allowed six runs in five innings.

”I really wasn’t as crisp as I’d like to have been,” De Jong said.

Seattle dropped one game below .500. The Mariners have not had a winning record at any point this season.


Mariners OF Guillermo Heredia and LHP Ariel Miranda did not travel with the team on its flight from Philadelphia to Toronto on Wednesday night because of visa issues. The players, both from Cuba, arrived in Toronto during the game Thursday.


De Jong was excited to face Toronto, the team that drafted him out of high school in 2012, and the team his cousin Jordan pitched for in 2007. ”Ever since I started my baseball career, I thought I was going to get up here,” De Jong said. Toronto traded De Jong to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015.


Mariners: 2B Robinson Cano (right quadriceps) was scratched from the starting lineup. Cano left Tuesday’s win at Philadelphia after four innings with the same injury. … LHP James Paxton (left forearm) played catch at 60 feet at Safeco Field on Thursday and will be reevaluated Friday. … Seattle claimed RHP Casey Lawrence on waivers from Toronto, recalled LHP Zac Curtis from Double-A Arkansas and optioned RHP Dan Altavilla to Triple-A Tacoma. To make room for Lawrence, RHP Evan Scribner was moved from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL.

Blue Jays: LHP Francisco Liriano (sore shoulder) was placed on the 10-day DL. Toronto recalled Campos from Triple-A Buffalo. … Kendrys Morales (left hamstring) missed his second straight game. Gibbons said Morales might be available to pinch hit Friday.


Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (0-0, 2.45 ERA) will make his first start of the season. He allowed one run in 3 2/3 innings in a May 7 relief appearance against Texas. Bergman made 15 major league starts with Colorado over the previous three seasons.

Blue Jays: RHP Joe Biagini (0-1, 2.78) makes his second start since joining Toronto’s injury-riddled rotation. Biagini pitched four shutout innings at Tampa Bay last Sunday.

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