TORONTO — Kyle Seager smacked a deciding home run off of the right foul pole in the eighth inning to give the Seattle Mariners a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.
Seager has hit safely in 21 of his last 22 games, dating back to July 22. He has gone 29 for 80 (.363) with nine homers and 20 RBI during this impactful stretch.
Toronto (52-74) not only lost the game but hot-hitting rookie Vladimir Guerrero. He left after two innings with left knee discomfort.
The Blue Jays reported he would undergo further evaluation before determining how long the setback will keep the Guerrero out of the lineup.
After grounding out to third in the first inning, Guerrero hustled to cut off a ground ball from Seattle infielder Austin Nota in the second.
Guerrero leads all rookies in the American League with 95 hits, 22 doubles and 37 extra-base hits. He entered the game having hit .367 (36 for 98) with nine doubles, a triple, six homers and 28 RBI over his last 25 outings.
He was replaced by Brandon Drury to begin the third inning.
Blue Jays starter Trent Thornton went six innings, surrendering three runs on five hits. But he walked five with three strikeouts.
Toronto lefty reliever Tim Mayza (1-2) gave up Seager’s two-out, game-winning blast.
The Mariners (51-73) employed six different relievers after opener Reggie McClain’s two innings. Anthony Bass (2-4) yielded a game-tying homer in the seventh inning, but still managed the winning decision.
The teams traded runs in the second inning. Seattle’s Nola reached base on an infield hit and advanced to third after back-to-back walks. He then scored on the first of two RBI sacrifice flies from centre-fielder Keon Broxton.
The Blue Jays tied the game after a two-out double from Justin Smoak and RBI single to right field from rookie Billy McKinney.
The Mariners went ahead 3-1 in the fourth inning. Nola hit his fifth homer with a shot that just cleared the left-field wall and Broxton brought home another run with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Jays, however, clawed their way back into the game with solo homers from Bo Bichette, his fifth with two-out in the fifth inning, and Reese McGuire’s leadoff shot in the seventh, his third. McGuire belted a two-out double down the right-field line in the ninth inning, but he was left stranded when struck out to end the game.
Bichette saw his 17-game on-base streak to start his career end on Friday. But he rebounded with a two-hit game. He also smacked a leadoff single in the first inning.
Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press