SEATTLE (AP) — Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a throw through the strap of his glove and the Seattle Mariners capitalized on it for their eighth straight victory, beating Toronto 6-5 on Sunday on two circuits of Carlos Santana.
“Baseball can be cruel sometimes when things aren’t going well,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said.
A day after Santana hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning for a 2-1 win, he connected for a two-run go-ahead in the eighth. The Mariners are 16-3 for their best 19-game streak since 2003.
“Everything is positive right now, so we have to keep going,” Santana said. “The energy is tremendous. The support from the fans, at the clubhouse, the teammates are great. When you see that, everything is fine.
Blue Jays starter Max Castillo was drawn in the fifth with a 4-1 lead after giving up two one-out singles, and reliever David Phelps walked Justin Upton to load the bases.
Sam Haggerty then came back to Phelps, who pitched home to start what looked like an easy end-inning double play. But catcher Gabriel Moreno’s throw went through Guerrero’s first baseman’s glove, allowing a run to score.
Guerrero continued to stare in amazement at his glove as Phelps, who had started twirling off the mound in celebration, suddenly stopped. Julio Rodriguez followed with an RBI single that cut Toronto’s lead to 4-3.
This is the second time in a month that Guerrero has had problems with his glove. He shot through the canvas in a win over the Orioles on June 13.
“You know it changed the game,” Montoyo said. “I’ve seen him twice this year. Usually it doesn’t happen to the same guy and it happened to the same guy.
Bo Bichette homered, two singles and drove in three runs for the Blue Jays, who were swept in the four-game series and lost nine of their last 10.
George Springer homered on the first pitch of the game for the Blue Jays, his 17th home run of the season and his 51st career first home run. Raimel Tapia has also filmed for Toronto.
Santana, acquired from Kansas City in late June, hit a first homer in second.
“It’s like he’s been here all year,” said Ty France of Seattle. “He’s part of the family now and we’re happy to have him here and we’ve been riding.”
Moreno dropped a JP Crawford popup to start Seattle’s eighth. Santana connected Adam Cimber (8-3) for his seventh home run this season, three for the Mariners.
The Mariners tied at 4 on Cal Raleigh’s sacrifice ball in the sixth. Bitchette homered in the seventh.
Seattle starter Logan Gilbert allowed four runs on nine hits, both matching his season highs, over six innings.
Matt Festa (1-0) threw a perfect eighth for the win and Paul Sewald caught his 10th save.
The series sweep tied the Mariners with Toronto for the AL’s third wildcard spot. The Mariners are looking to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2001. “You can’t celebrate anything. We’re not there yet,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. But everyone knows drought. It’s raining a lot in Seattle, so we need to end the drought.
Rodriguez was named to the All-Star team during the game. France, who were one of two finalists for the AL first baseman spot, were not selected. “There are a lot of good players, and not to take anything away from any of them, I really think I played my way there,” France said.
On Saturday, the Mariners moved to rookie starter George Kirby at Triple-A Tacoma to reduce his workload. Seattle manager Scott Servais said he expects Kirby to make a two- or three-run start in Tacoma and return to the Mariners’ rotation after the All-Star break. In his place Wednesday in Washington, Seattle could have a bullpen day or start long reliever Tommy Milone, Servais said. Marco Gonzales will start Thursday in Texas.
Blue Jays: Toronto has the day off Monday and hasn’t announced a starter for Tuesday’s home game against Philadelphia.
Mariners: RHP Chris Flexen (5-8, 4.00 ERA) will open Seattle’s two-game series at Washington on Tuesday. Flexen has won his last three starts.
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