Mariners’ left-handed pitchers are craftier than you think
The Toronto Blue Jays have found home runs are better when they happen together.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Randal Grichuk hit back-to-back homers, Jacob Waguespack won his third straight decision and the Blue Jays beat the Seattle Mariners 7-3 on Friday night.
Derek Fisher and Danny Jansen also went deep for the Blue Jays, who have hit 110 home runs since June 16. The New York Yankees have a major league-leading 112 homers in the same span.
“Up and down through our lineup, anybody can put the ball out of the park,” an appreciative Waguespack said. “We have some scrappy hitters and they’ll make you work in the box.”
Toronto has won five of seven and 12 of 18. The Mariners have lost five of eight and 10 of 13.
Waguespack (4-1) allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings, winning for the third time in three starts. The right-hander threw a career-high 102 pitches.
“He’s pitching inside and he locates his fastball for strikes and he’s keeping hitters off balance,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “He’s got three pitches that he commands and that’s pretty good.”
Guerrero Jr. and Grichuk connected off left-hander Wade LeBlanc (6-7) four pitches apart in the third inning. Guerrero’s homer was his 14th. Grichuk hit his 23rd.
The Blue Jays have hit back-to-back homers 12 times this season, breaking the team record set in 1999.
Fisher homered off LeBlanc in the second inning as the Blue Jays overcame a two-run deficit with the first of consecutive three-run innings. Jansen made it four homers off LeBlanc, leading off the seventh inning with his 12th of the season.
The four home runs allowed matched LeBlanc’s career-worst. He also allowed four homers against Minnesota on May 18.
“You can’t give up four of them and think you’re going to come out on the right end,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
LeBlanc has lost four straight decisions. He allowed seven runs and matched a career-worst by giving up 11 hits in seven innings.
“I haven’t had a feel for anything this year,” LeBlanc said. “It’s frustrating to not have it because your team needs it.”
Matt Wisler opened for Seattle with a scoreless first, and the Mariners jumped ahead on a two-out, two-run single by Tim Lopes in the second.
Toronto turned the deficit around in the bottom half when Brandon Drury hit an RBI single and Fisher followed with his fourth home run.
Mariners: RHP Félix Hernández (shoulder) is scheduled to make a rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma Monday. Hernandez pitched four shutout innings for Class A Everett on Aug. 14, striking out eight and allowing just one hit. Hernandez went 1-4 with a 6.52 ERA in eight starts for Seattle in April and May, but hasn’t pitched in the majors since May 11 at Boston, when he allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings.
Blue Jays: Toronto claimed C Beau Taylor on waiver from Oakland and assigned him to Triple-A Buffalo.
Blue Jays rookie shortstop Bo Bichette went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and failed to reach base for the first time as a big leaguer. Bichette had reached safely in each of his first 17 games following his July 29 debut.
Wisler also opened for Seattle in Thursday’s game at Detroit.
Seattle struck out seven times, snapping a streak of 24 games with at least eight strikeouts. Only Houston (28 games in 2013) has had a longer streak.
A fan in the front row dropped his glove over the rail while trying to catch Fisher’s homer to right. The glove fell into the Mariners’ bullpen, where someone tossed it back up to its owner.
A fan in left field used the free giveaway baseball cap handed out Friday to catch Guerrero’s homer. After making the catch, he celebrated by downing the can of beer he’d held on to throughout.
Mariners minor league LHP Eliezer Mejia was suspended 72 games Friday for testing positive for the steroid stanozolol. Mejia, 18, was playing in the Dominican Summer League. His suspension will carry into next season.
Mariners: Seattle has not named a starter for Saturday afternoon’s game.
Blue Jays: RHP Trent Thornton (4-8, 5.34) starts for Toronto on Saturday, his first career appearance against Seattle. Thornton was a hard-luck loser against the Yankees on Aug. 11, allowing one run in six innings. He’s 1-1 with a 4.60 ERA in three starts this month.