Erasmo Ramirez pitched seven strong innings as the Seattle Mariners ended the Toronto Blue Jays four-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday.
Ramirez threw 73 per cent of his pitches for strikes, allowing only two runs with six strike outs in only his fifth start of the season for the Mariners.
Helping Seattle offensively was Kyle Seager who continues to dominate Jays pitching this season. He hit a no doubt home run in the fifth and the 24-year-old also chipped in two runs and two RBI and is now hitting 11-24 against the Jays in 2012.
For the Blue Jays (64-76) Brandon Morrow struggled mightily as he was unable to get out of the fifth inning. He gave up a season-high 11 hits versus his former team as he had trouble locating his pitches all-night.
Offensively the Jays were led by Colby Rasmus who went two-for-three with two runs scored and an RBI. Rasmus’ sacrifice fly in the third inning closed the Mariners lead to one but the Jays were never able to find the equalizer.
With the victory, the Mariners (68-74) ended their personal three-game losing streak.
Despite losing by only one the Jays were never in control of the game. Toronto was down 2-0 before they even batted and were unable to generate many scoring chances against Ramirez and the Seattle bullpen.
In fact, the Jays were lucky to not be down by more heading into the bottom of the first as the Mariners had the bases loaded with only one out.
But after a Michael Saunders single scored Franklin Gutierrez, Toronto outfielder Rajai Davis was able to throw out the second runner, John Jaso, at the plate to keep the Jays within two.
The Jays offence immediately responded in the bottom half of the first on a Yunel Escobar single but Adam Lind was thrown out at third base to end the threat.
After trading runs in the third, Kyle Seager’s home run in the fifth proved to be the deciding margin.
With the Seattle victory, the Jays failed to win a fifth straight game for the fifth time this season. The Jays haven’t won more than four games in a row since July 2011.
In the ninth however, Davis came within inches of tying a Toronto franchise record as he barely missed recording his third outfield assist of the game when Franklin Gutierrez just barely beat out his throw at second base.
Davis’s first two assists of the night were against Jaso who was thrown out at home and third base in consecutive plate appearances.
Despite the near record, it was the smallest crowd of the season at the Rogers Centre with only 12,935 taking in the action.
The Jays resume their series with Seattle tomorrow night as Ricky Romero takes the hill for the blue birds.