MLB Carlos Santana’s 2-run homer propels Mariners past Blue Jays

Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning as the Seattle Mariners defeated the visiting Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Saturday night.

It was the seventh consecutive victory for the Mariners, who pulled within a game of Toronto, which has lost eight of nine, for the American League’s third and final wild-card playoff berth.

Rookie Matt Brash (2-3), recalled from Triple-A Tacoma earlier in the day, pitched a perfect inning of relief, striking out two, to earn the victory. The Blue Jays loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but Diego Castillo got Matt Chapman to ground out to end it for Castillo’s fifth save of the season.

Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah (9-4) allowed just one hit through six innings — a one-out double by Ty France in the fourth — before J.P. Crawford grounded a single to right leading off the seventh. Santana then clobbered an 0-1 pitch off the facade of the second deck in right field, his fifth homer of the season and first since being acquired by the Mariners in a June 27 trade with Kansas City.

Manoah and Mariners lefty Robbie Ray, who won the AL’s Cy Young Award with the Blue Jays last season before signing with Seattle as a free agent in the offseason, were locked in a pitching duel for six innings.

Ray faced the minimum number of batters through the first four innings — Teoscar Hernandez singled with one out in the second before being picked off — until getting taxed in the fifth.

Alejandro Kirk and Hernandez both walked on 3-2 pitches before Lourdes Gurriel Jr. lined a single just over the glove of leaping first baseman Santana to load the bases with no outs. Ray responded by striking out Chapman, getting Santiago Espinal to hit a weak popup to second base and Raimel Tapia to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

Ray fell behind 2-0 in the count to Springer leading off the sixth and he lined the next pitch just over the wall in right field to break a scoreless tie. It was Springer’s 16th home run of the season.

Manoah pitched 7 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on three hits, with four walks and seven strikeouts. Ray went six innings and allowed one run on three hits, with two walks and six strikeouts.

–Field Level Media

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