Mike Hauschild, signed earlier in the day, pitched six innings of scoreless relief for his first major league victory as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the host Seattle Mariners 7-3 Thursday night.
Toronto’s Kendrys Morales, a former Mariner, broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run homer in the seventh inning off right-hander Juan Nicasio (1-6).
Nelson Cruz hit two homers for the Mariners, but they lost their third consecutive game and dropped a half-game behind the Oakland A’s for the American League’s second and final wild-card berth. Seattle also fell into third place in the AL West for the first time since May 17.
Hauschild (1-0), a 28-year-old right-hander whose major league experience consisted of four games with the Texas Rangers last season in which he had an 11.25 ERA, allowed four hits, walked one and struck out five. He was recently released by the Houston Astros after going 7-6 with a 4.88 ERA in 19 starts for Triple-A Fresno.
Longtime Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, his spot tenuous in the rotation, pitched five solid innings, giving up two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out two.
The Mariners took the lead in the first inning on Cruz’s two-run homer into the upper deck in left field off Tyler Clippard, a veteran right-hander. Clippard made his first start since June 14, 2008, also in Seattle, while a member of the Washington Nationals.
Clippard went one inning, giving up the two runs on three hits, before giving way to Hauschild.
The Blue Jays tied it in the second on Devon Travis’ two-run single.
The score remained tied at 2-2 until the seventh. After left-hander Zach Duke struck out Curtis Granderson, Nicasio came on and allowed a groundball single to Randal Grichuk. Nicasio struck out Justin Smoak, but Morales then hit a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right-center field, his 13th homer of the season.
Cruz led off the bottom of the eighth by hitting the first pitch from right-hander Joe Biagini over the right field wall, his 28th homer.
The Blue Jays, who snapped a three-game losing streak, added three runs in the ninth off left-hander James Pazos, the key blow a two-run homer by Aledmys Diaz, his 12th.
—Field Level Media