Goins, Encarnacion hit long ball to lead Blue Jays over Mariners 8-2

TORONTO — Ryan Goins and Edwin Encarnacion hit two-run homers and Aaron Sanchez had a second straight solid pitching performance as the Toronto Blue Jays pounded the Seattle Mariners 8-2 on Sunday.

Goins, with his first home run of the season, and Encarnacion, with his eighth of the month, both homered in the fifth inning to give Sanchez (4-4) all the support he needed at Rogers Centre.

The young right-hander, making just the ninth start of his Major League career, followed up his 7-1/3 inning performance on Tuesday with 6-2/3 on Sunday as Toronto salvaged a win in the final game of a three-game series against the Mariners.

The Blue Jays (20-26) are just 3-8 over the past 11 games.

Kyle Seager hit a solo shot for the Mariners (20-23).

Seattle right-hander Taijuan Walker (1-5) held the Blue Jays hitless through the first four innings. But Toronto jumped all over him in the fifth, sending eight men to the plate and scoring four times.

Kevin Pillar, who came into Sunday batting just .121 over his previous 16 games, started things by flaring a lead-off single down the right-field line. Goins brought him home by pounding a fastball from Walker off the back wall of the Mariners bullpen for his first homer of the season and fourth of his career.

After Russell Martin doubled with two out, Encarnacion drilled a 3-2 fastball from Walker into the second deck over the left centre-field fence for his team-leading 12th home run of the season to make it 4-1.

Seattle cut the Toronto lead to two runs in the top of the seventh before the Blue Jays ended the drama by scoring four more runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-2.

Jose Bautista sat out Sunday’s game after receiving a cortisone shot in his right shoulder. Bautista has been nursing a sore shoulder and not playing in the outfield since injuring it in a game on April 21.

Seager opened the scoring in the second by hammering a Sanchez curveball into the seats beyond the right centre-field wall for his seventh homer of the season.

After surrendering that home run, the 22-year-old Sanchez settled into a rhythm, striking out four and walking a pair while allowing seven hits in a 95-pitch performance.

Roberto Osuna, Aaron Loup and Liam Hendriks combined to throw 2-1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

The Blue Jays continue their 10-game homestand Monday, opening a three-games series against the Chicago White Sox.

Daniel Girard, The Canadian Press


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