Jays rally late to beat Mariners

The Canadian Press
John Chidley-Hill

TORONTO–As far as Josh Donaldson is concerned, the Toronto Blue Jays never should get shut out, let alone go without a hit.
Donaldson, Yangervis Solarte, and Justin Smoak had three-consecutive doubles in a four-run eighth inning as the Jays finished with 12 hits in a 5-2 win over Seattle–a day after Mariners’ pitcher James Paxton threw a no-hitter at Rogers Centre.
“We expect to have success at the plate. We feel like we have quality hitters that are capable of doing that,” said Donaldson.
“I think it’s moreso on the other lines when we’re not getting hits and putting runs up on the board is when we’re surprised.”
Teoscar Hernandez hit a solo homer in the fourth inning and was a triple short of hitting the cycle before Toronto (20-17) had a six-hit, four-run rally that broke the game open in the eighth.
Jaime Garcia (2-2) struck out three and gave up two runs (one earned) in five innings of work.
Seunghwan Oh, John Axford, and Ryan Tepera (3-1) all pitched a scoreless inning, with the latter earning the win as the pitcher of record when the Jays’ bats came alive.
Tyler Clippard earned his first save of the season, striking out two of the four batters he faced in the ninth inning.
He pitched the ninth inning as Roberto Osuna, Toronto’s usual closer, remained on administrative leave after he was charged with assault on Tuesday.
“We’re doing it by committee right now,” noted Clippard, who has 62 career saves. “I was told to be ready from the seventh to the ninth, and I’m used to that.
“It’s one of those things I’ve done in my career a lot.”
Jays’ catcher Russell Martin started at third, making a rare appearance as all-star third baseman Josh Donaldson was the designated hitter in an effort to rest his throwing arm.
Shortstops Aledmys Diaz (left ankle) and Troy Tulowitzki (right ankle) both are on Toronto’s disabled list while struggling second baseman Devon Travis is in triple-A trying to get his groove back.
Wade LeBlanc struck out three and gave up one run in five innings of work for Seattle (20-15).
He was followed by Chasen Bradford and Nick Vincent out of the bullpen before reliever Juan Nicasio (1-1) took the loss after giving up five hits and four runs in one third of an inning.
Martin drew a round of applause from the 20,290 in attendance when he ended the sixth inning by grabbing a ground-out from Seattle’s Guillermo Heredia with his bare hand and, in one fluid motion, threw the runner out at first base.
Martin didn’t even break stride as he jogged to the Jays’ dugout.
“I’m just a ballplayer, man,” said Martin. “Just put me out there and I’ll get it done.”
Toronto struggled to bring home runners in scoring position to start the game.
Hernandez and catcher Luke Maile both were stranded at third while Kevin Pillar was left at second, preserving Seattle’s 2-1 lead through seven innings.
Elsewhere in the AL, New York topped Boston 9-6, Baltimore beat Kansas City 5-3, Texas nipped Detroit 5-4 (10 innings), and Houston downed Oakland 4-1.
Over in the NL, Chicago pounded Miami 13-4, Philadelphia dumped San Francisco 11-3, San Diego edged Washington 2-1, and L.A. doubled Arizona 6-3.
Cleveland beat Milwaukee 6-2, Pittsburgh topped the Chicago White Sox 6-5, the L.A. Angels blanked Colorado 8-0, and Atlanta upended Tampa Bay 5-2.