Bichette homers as Blue Jays top Mariners 5-3

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays picked up a few firsts in a 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night that brought them back to the .500 mark.

Bo Bichette hit his first home run of the season, Chris Bassitt earned his first victory and the Blue Jays secured their first series win over a slumping Mariners side that has dropped six of seven.

Bichette hit a two-run shot in Toronto’s three-run third inning. Isiah Kiner-Falefa had three of the Blue Jays’ 11 hits.

“Bo is one of the best hitters in the league,” said Toronto manager John Schneider. “I think everyone knows that by now. A huge hit today. He’s right there where he needs to be.”

Bichette launched a slider from Seattle starter George Kirby (1-2) that travelled an estimated 431 feet. The Blue Jays (6-6) tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning.

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Bassitt, meanwhile, threw 6 2/3 solid innings with his lone blemish a Dominic Canzone solo homer in the seventh.

“His outing was great,” Schneider said. “He was in total command.”

Blue Jays reliever Trevor Richards gave up a two-run shot to Mitch Haniger in the eighth. Chad Green recorded four outs for his second save.

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The Mariners (4-8) managed six hits.


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“We’re not playing great baseball,” said Seattle manager Scott Servais. “It was a frustrating night. It hasn’t been a good road trip. It hasn’t been a good start to the season.”

The Blue Jays lost two series and split the other on their season-opening 10-game road trip. Toronto will try to complete a three-game sweep of the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon.

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Bassitt (1-2) was one of Toronto’s most consistent pitchers last season with a 16-8 record and 3.60 earned-run average over 200 innings. But he started slowly this year and battled some control issues early against the Mariners.

The right-hander issued walks in each of the first three innings but escaped unscathed. Cavan Biggio and Bichette helped deliver a slick 4-6-3 double-play to end the top of the third.

Daulton Varsho singled in the bottom half and took second base when Kirby was called for a disengagement violation. George Springer fouled off eight pitches before driving in his teammate with a single.

“He battled his ass off and then came through,” Schneider said. “George is a pro. I think his at-bats are so underrated right now.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reached when Springer was forced out at second base and scored on Bichette’s first homer of the season. The blast landed in the 200-level seating above the Toronto bullpen.

“Obviously when I’m going well, I tend to hit the ball hard,” Bichette said. “Really (it’s about) winning every pitch.”

In the fourth inning, Kiner-Falefa drove in Biggio with an RBI double and later scored on an RBI single by Springer.

Former Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton came on in the fifth and pitched a single frame for Seattle. Kirby allowed eight hits and five earned runs to go with three strikeouts.

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“Tonight I just thought I was a little bit too much in the zone,” Kirby said. “I just didn’t expand like I needed to.”

Canzone’s homer was his third of the season while Haniger’s blast just inside the left-field foul screen was his second of the year.

Bassitt allowed five hits, one earned run and issued four walks. He had eight strikeouts and lowered his ERA from 7.71 to 5.06.

“This lineup has given me a lot of trouble so I knew that I had to do things, I would say, off script,” he said. “I kind of mixed up how I pitched a little bit.”

After a sellout crowd of over 40,000 took in the home opener a night earlier, announced attendance was 31,310.

The game took two hours 53 minutes to play.

WORK FROM DOME

The teams will close out the series with a mid-afternoon start. Left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (0-1, 2.79) was tabbed to pitch for Toronto against right-hander Logan Gilbert (0-0, 3.55).

COMING UP

Both teams have off-days Thursday.

The Blue Jays will continue their nine-game homestand Friday with the opener of a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies.

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The Mariners will return to T-Mobile Park for a six-game homestand starting with a weekend series against the Chicago Cubs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2024.

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