Blue Jays salvage series finale, top Mariners 4-3

Jul 23, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Santiago Espinal (5) hits an RBI-single against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning at T-Mobile Park.
Image: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Pinch-hitter Santiago Espinal drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the host Seattle Mariners 4-3 Sunday afternoon to salvage the finale of a three-game series

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Brandon Belt both homered for the second consecutive day for the Blue Jays, who extended their lead over Seattle to 4 1/2 games in the race for the American League’s third and final wild-card playoff berth

Mike Ford went deep for the Mariners, who had a three-game winning streak snapped and finished 5-5 on their 10-game homestand

Reliever Tim Mayza (2-1) earned the victory and Jordan Romano pitched an eventful ninth for his 27th save. Romano hit leadoff batter Dylan Moore with a pitch and walked Kolten Wong. J.P. Crawford’s sacrifice bunt advanced both runners before Romano struck out Julio Rodriguez and got Eugenio Suarez to fly out to left.

With the score tied at 3-3 entering the seventh, Whit Merrifield led off by drawing a walk against Mariners starter Bryan Woo (1-3). Daulton Varsho greeted reliever Tayler Saucedo with a sacrifice bunt. Pinch-hitter Alejandro Kirk walked before Espinal grounded a run-scoring single into left field

Woo, a rookie right-hander, went six-plus innings and gave up four runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out seven.

The Mariners opened the scoring in the second. Cal Raleigh grounded a leadoff single into right field and, an out later, Ford hit a fastball off the “Hit It Here Cafe” on the second deck in right field

Woo retired the first nine batters he faced before hitting George Springer with a pitch leading off the fourth. Woo struck out the next two hitters before Guerrero hit a two-run shot just over the wall in right to tie the score.

With one out in the sixth, Belt went deep to right-center to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead, the ball glancing off the heel of the glove of leaping outfielder Teoscar Hernandez on its way over the fence

Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah allowed three runs on three hits over 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander walked four and fanned six

–Field Level Media

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