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Toronto at Seattle

W: J. Johnson (2-8) L: F. Hernandez (11-5)
HR: TOR - J. Reyes (8)   SEA - None

Reyes carries offense as Jays hand King Felix rare loss

CBSSports.com wire reports

SEATTLE -- Josh Johnson believed the mechanical changes he was attempting to make would finally lead to a successful outing and an end to his lengthy losing streak for the Toronto right-hander.

Walking out to the mound with a 1-0 lead thanks to Jose Reyes taking Felix Hernandez deep certainly helped.

"It awesome. You have to be almost perfect most of the time with him out there," Johnson said. "Offense did an awesome job."

Reyes homered on the first pitch of the game, added an RBI single to cap Toronto's big fourth inning, and the Blue Jays handed Seattle ace Felix Hernandez his first loss since late May with a 7-2 victory against the Mariners on Tuesday.

The Blue Jays battered Hernandez (11-5) and knocked him out after only five innings, matching his shortest start of the season.

A leading contender for a second AL Cy Young Award, Hernandez got no help from his defense that committed three errors that led to three unearned runs while he was on the mound.

"It was a struggle. A lot of it was I fell behind," Hernandez said. "A leadoff homer; that was a tough game."

While Hernandez was struggling, Johnson was throwing one of his best games of the season with his potential spot in the rotation at stake. Johnson threw five scoreless innings and won for the first time since June 23, snapping a six-game losing streak.

Toronto manager John Gibbons pulled Johnson after only 86 pitches, but wanted to make sure he left with his confidence high.

"He maybe had one more left in him, but I figured instead of having to bail him out maybe that next inning, for all that he's been through, let him finish with five good, strong ones," Gibbons said. "... A lot of that was let him go out on a clean slate and feel good."

Reyes brought the huge contingent of Blue Jays' fans to their feet from the start. He lined Hernandez's first fastball of the night 399 feet into the seats in right for his eighth homer of the season. It was Reyes' 18th career leadoff homer and first this season.

For Hernandez, it was just the second leadoff homer allowed in his career and a precursor to a tough night.

"He's one of the best pitchers in the game," Reyes said. "I had that approach before the game I was looking for a fastball right in the middle the first pitch and I try to put my best swing and that's what happened."

Toronto scored three times in the fourth helped by two Seattle errors. Emilio Bonifacio had the big hit with a two-out double into the gap in right-center field.

Bonifacio's hit came after three defensive breakdowns by Seattle: Kyle Seager committed his second error of the night, shortstop Brad Miller threw wildly to second trying to start a double play and Miller failed to hold the ball when tagging Brett Lawrie on a stolen base.

Reyes followed Bonifacio with an RBI single to cap the big inning. Toronto then scored twice more in the fifth when Colby Rasmus dropped an RBI single on a two-out, 0-2 pitch from Hernandez. That was followed by Lawrie's RBI single and a 6-0 lead.

Seattle's ugly night defensively was capped in the seventh when Raul Ibanez committed the Mariners' fourth error spiking an attempted throw from left field into the ground only a few feet in front of him and allowing Jose Bautista to score Toronto's seventh run.

Toronto's offensive output made it an easy night for Johnson, who in his previous four starts had an ERA of 14.06, but was masterful against the Mariners.

It was the second time this season Johnson didn't allow a run and a key for him was getting out of the first when Seattle had runners on the corners and one out. Johnson got Kendrys Morales to ground into a double play and Seattle never got a runner to third base until the seventh on Miller's two-run triple.

Johnson said his focus was staying more on top of his pitches, which helped keep the ball down in the strike zone.

"It was just a small little adjustment I made and it made a world of difference," Johnson said.


Rasmus made a highlight catch robbing Morales of a potential home run in the sixth inning pulling in a deep drive to center field. ... Seattle optioned closer Tom Wilhelmsen to Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday in the hopes he can rediscover the command of his fastball. Seattle recalled reliever Carter Capps to take Wilhelmsen's spot. Seattle also released OF Jason Bay, who was designated for assignment on July 29. ... Texas' Ian Kinsler is the only other batter to hit a leadoff home run off Hernandez. ... The four errors by Seattle were its most since committing six vs. the Angels in September 2011.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

J. Reyes
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1

B. Miller
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

January 19, 2017
2017 Team Outlook: Toronto Blue Jays (1:28)
Toronto Blue Jays
Jose Reyes, SS5122000 .316
Maicer Izturis, 2B4000100 .235
Jose Bautista, RF3220100 .260
Edwin Encarnacion, DH5010014 .280
Adam Lind, 1B4110111 .278
Colby Rasmus, CF3121113 .279
Brett Lawrie, 3B4121013 .238
Josh Thole, C4000016 .098
Emilio Bonifacio, LF4112001 .216
2B - Edwin Encarnacion (22, Capps), Emilio Bonifacio (16, Hernandez)
HR - Jose Reyes (8, Hernandez)
RBI - Jose Reyes 2 (24), Colby Rasmus (57), Brett Lawrie (25), Emilio Bonifacio 2 (18)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Reyes (4), Colby Rasmus (15), Brett Lawrie (6), Emilio Bonifacio 2 (7)
SB - Brett Lawrie (3, 2nd base off Hernandez/Blanco)
CS - Jose Reyes (4, 2nd base by Hernandez/Blanco)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Lind-Reyes-Johnson, Lind-Reyes-Johnson-Reyes-Izturis-Lind
Toronto Blue Jays
Josh Johnson (W,2-8) 5500250 6.20
Juan Perez 2222110 2.40
Brett Cecil 0.2100010 2.73
Sergio Santos 1.1000010 2.35
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Johnson 86-50, Juan Perez 34-21, Brett Cecil 13-8, Sergio Santos 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Johnson 5-3, Juan Perez 2-3, Brett Cecil 1-0, Sergio Santos 1-2
Batters Faced - Josh Johnson 20, Juan Perez 9, Brett Cecil 3, Sergio Santos 4
Seattle Mariners
Brad Miller, SS4022010 .252
Nick Franklin, 2B3000123 .247
Kyle Seager, 3B4010000 .295
Kendrys Morales, DH4020001 .298
Raul Ibanez, LF4010021 .251
Michael Morse, RF4010002 .245
Justin Smoak, 1B4110021 .273
Michael Saunders, CF3000112 .230
Henry Blanco, C3100101 .176
2B - Kendrys Morales (27, Cecil)
3B - Brad Miller (4, J. Perez)
RBI - Brad Miller 2 (18)
2-OUT RBI - Brad Miller 2 (7)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Seager-Franklin-Smoak
E - Raul Ibanez (4, Throwing), Brad Miller (6, Throwing), Kyle Seager 2 (9, Throwing)
Seattle Mariners
Felix Hernandez (L,11-5) 5963331 2.39
Carter Capps 2210120 6.03
Lucas Luetge 2000000 4.50
HBP - J. Bautista (by Lucas Luetge)
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Hernandez 101-60, Carter Capps 38-22, Lucas Luetge 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Hernandez 7-4, Carter Capps 3-1, Lucas Luetge 3-2
Batters Faced - Felix Hernandez 26, Carter Capps 9, Lucas Luetge 6
Game Information
Attendance - 28198
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Quinn Wolcott, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Todd Tichenor, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor