Third baseman Jose Lopez smacked three home runs to help spoil the party at the Rogers Centre as Seattle overcame Kyle Drabek’s home debut and Jose Bautista’s bid to reach 50 homers with a 6-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.
Drabek (0-2) had some trouble keeping the ball in the park, giving up two home runs to the American League’s worst long-ball hitting team.
The 22-year-old went five innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits while throwing just 84 pitches.
Ichiro Suzuki couldn’t build off his stellar performance from Tuesday night’s game, going 1-for-5 from the plate. The 2001 MVP is now just two hits shy of reaching 200 for the 10th straight season.
Where Suzuki failed to have the hot bat for Seattle (58-93), Lopez stepped up to carry the load. The third baseman found some power he’s been lacking all season, belting three shots to left field, reaching 10 home runs on the season.
Bautista couldn’t repeat the luck he had the last time he batted with Drabek on the mound, where he tied George Bell’s franchise record of 47 home runs last week in a single season for the Blue Birds (76-75).
Sitting at 49, the MLB’s home run leader is trying to become the first player to reach the half-century mark since Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder did so in 2007.
Seattle starting pitcher David Pauley (3-8) had a solid night, allowing just two runs over six innings.
After a scoreless first, Canadian Michael Saunders broke the game open with a two-run shot in the second off a 3-1 pitch, giving Seattle a 2-0 lead.
Lopez followed up an inning later with a solo shot for his first of the night.
Down 3-0 in the fourth, Toronto got a spark when Vernon Wells led off the inning with his 29th home run of the season, just clearing the left-field wall.
After the Jays loaded the bases with two singles and a walk, Edwin Encarnacion grounded out softly to score Lyle Overbay from third, cutting the lead to 3-2.
However, Travis Snider struck out swinging a batter later to end the Jays’ best chance for a come back.
Lopez added to the advantage in the sixth with his second homer of the night, taking the first pitch he saw from reliever Brian Tallet to left field.
And with Suzuki on first in the eighth, Lopez homered again in his next at-bat, making it 6-2.
The Blue Jays made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, as fireballer Brandon League got burned by his former teammates when Aaron Hill led off with a single, followed by an Adam Lind double, putting runners on second and third.
John Buck grounded out to score Hill, but League settled down with two straight outs to end the game.