Mariners win 7th in a row, edging Blue Jays 2-1 at Santana Home Circuit
SEATTLE (AP) — Carlos Santana hit his first home run since being acquired by Seattle, doubling up on a two-run shot off Toronto starter Alek Manoah that propelled the Mariners to a 2-1 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday night.
Seattle won its seventh straight and has won 15 of its last 18 games. The 15-3 streak is the Mariners’ best 18-game streak since 2003.
The Santana homer came in the seventh inning after Seattle had just one hit against Manoah in the first six. JP Crawford started the seventh with a single and Santana ambushed a fastball to the middle of home plate for his fifth home of the season and biggest hit yet with the Mariners.
Santana was acquired in late June from Kansas City for a pair of pitchers.
Robbie Ray faced his old team for the first time and pitched six innings, allowing just three hits and a run on George Springer’s 16th homer of the season in the top of the sixth inning. Ray won the AL Cy Young Award last season with the Blue Jays, but did not travel to Toronto when the teams met in May due to border restrictions related to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Ray struck out six and threw a major block in the fifth inning when Toronto charged the no-outs and failed to score. In his last six starts, Ray has a .91 ERA with 11 walks and 46 strikeouts.
Matt Brash (2-3) struck out a pair in a perfect seventh inning, including a 13-pitch strikeout from Lordes Gurriel Jr. that included nine fouls.
Pitcher for the third straight day, Diego Castillo ran into trouble in the ninth after singles with an out of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Alejandro Kirk. Castillo got groundouts from Teoscar Hernández and Matt Chapman for his fifth save.
Manoah (9-4) matched Ray, throwing 7 1/3 innings but taking the loss. Manoah allowed no hits until the double with a Ty France out in the fourth and allowed three total baserunners until problems in the seventh.
Manoah hit seven and walked four.
All of Toronto’s offense came from a Springer swing. It was his 23rd career home run against Seattle. He hit 13 of 23 at T-Mobile Park.
Seattle made a flurry of moves to strengthen its bullpen, recalling Brash and Matt Festa from Triple-A Tacoma. RHP Ken Giles was placed on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation and RHP Erik Swanson was placed on the paternity list.
Seattle also opted for rookie starting pitcher George Kirby in Tacoma. With a day off on Monday and the All-Star break looming, it’s an easy way for Seattle to handle Kirby’s innings. Right-hander Jacob Barnes was selected in Tacoma to replace Kirby.
Wide receiver Luis Torrens (shoulder) was also activated from the 10-day IL and C Andrew Knapp was designated for assignment.
Blue Jays: Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo wasn’t ready to name a starter for Sunday’s series finale, but it won’t be RHP Kevin Gausman. Montoyo said Gausman would not return to the rotation until Tuesday at the earliest. Gausman was hit in the ankle on his last start and was taken out of his scheduled turn on Thursday.
Blue Jays: Toronto should make it a bullpen day and announce a starter on Sunday.
Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (10-3, 2.61) is looking to join Houston’s Justin Verlander as the only 11-game winner in the American League. Gilbert allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings in his last start against San Diego. Gilbert has pitched at least five innings in every start this season.
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Tim Booth, The Associated Press