J.A. Happ struggles in Blue Jays' 9-3 loss to Mariners - InfoNews

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J.A. Happ struggles in Blue Jays' 9-3 loss to Mariners

Seattle Mariners' Jean Segura gets the force out at second base on Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson and turns the double play during eighth inning American League MLB baseball action in Toronto on Thursday May 10, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill
May 10, 2018 - 8:28 PM

TORONTO - J.A. Happ's first order of business after a lopsided loss to the Seattle Mariners was to just try and forget it all.

Happ gave up 10 hits and seven runs in 3 1/3 innings as the Toronto Blue Jays fell to Seattle 9-3, losing their three-game series with the Mariners. Toronto has four wins in its past 10 games and the Blue Jays have lost five of their past seven series.

"I'm going to try and flush it as best I can, it's not easy. The line is what it is," said Happ in a nearly empty Toronto clubhouse after the loss. "It's not a pretty one but you bounce back and you try and figure out maybe why it happened."

Jake Petricka relieved Happ, pitching 1 2/3 inning and giving up a run on two hits, before Aaron Loup and Tim Mayza threw two scoreless innings apiece. Russell Martin hit a two-run homer in the second inning for the Blue Jays (20-18) and Yangervis Solarte's groundout in the eighth allowed a runner to score.

"I really like our offence, it's got good balance, we can strike quick," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "The key is keep putting pressure on them and eventually you'll break through."

Kyle Seager hit a grand slam and added a solo homer for Seattle (21-15), while Ryon Healy and Mike Zunino both had home runs.

Mike Leake (4-3) struck out six and allowed two runs over seven innings for Seattle (21-15). Marc Rzepczynski, Chasen Bradford, James Pazos and Edwin Diaz came out of the bullpen. Neither Rzepczynski or Bradford got an out and the former gave up a run.

Happ's troubles began in the first as he gave up a base hit to Jean Segura, a single to Robinson Cano and then walked Ryon Healy to load the bases. That set up Seager for a grand slam to deep centre-right field and a 4-0 Mariners lead.

"I certainly wasn't good, but that first inning really wasn't bad. It was two ground balls and a walk, and in a big moment I threw a pitch down the middle to a really good hitter," said Happ. "There you go, 4-0. And it didn't get better from there.

"Really, I think it was just that one pitch."

The next two Seattle batters got on base before Happ could induce a groundout to end the inning. The Blue Jays starter threw 38 pitches in the opening frame alone.

Seager made another impressive play in the bottom of the first, sliding on the warning track dirt to catch Solarte's foul out by Toronto's dugout.

"I kind of lost track of where the fence was," said Seager. "I knew that I was going to be close to it so I could slide and not flip over a rail or something like that."

Segura led off the second with a double to deep left field and then Mitch Haniger drove him in with a single to shallow right. With that, Petricka started warming up in the Blue Jays dugout.

Martin cut into the Mariners' lead in the second inning, hitting a line drive over the left-field wall to cash in Kevin Pillar and make it 5-2.

Healy put the first pitch of the third out of the park, in what was Happ's best inning. He retired the next three batters he faced.

Happ's struggles continued in the fourth, giving up three consecutive singles to start the inning before sacrifice fly by Cano brought Andrew Romine home and made it 7-2. Happ finally was pulled after throwing 84 pitches, with Petricka getting out of the inning by inducing a double play.

Seager hit his second homer of the game to lead off the fifth inning, a solo shot off Petricka to dead centre.

Toronto added a run in the eighth when, with the bases loaded and no outs, Solarte hit into a double play at first and second. That advanced pinch runner Anthony Alford to third and scored Lourdes Gurriel Jr. The run was charged to Rzepczynski.

Zunino crushed a pitch from Mayza over the outfield wall to open the ninth inning, restoring Seattle's six-run lead.


Follow @jchidleyhill on Twitter

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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