It took more than 1,000 career games, but Eugenio Suarez finally got to experience the exhilaration of hitting a game-ending home run.
So, how did it feel?
“I just enjoyed the game and like I always say, I keep my energy even. Even if I didn’t do something, I just try to keep my energy and enjoy this game. This game is so fun,” Suarez said.
Suarez hit a three-run homer off Sergio Romo in the 11th inning, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Friday night for their season-best sixth straight victory.
Suarez didn’t miss on a 2-1 slider from Romo (0-1) and kept it fair down the left field line. It was his 15th home run of the season and improved Seattle to 43-42, the first time the Mariners have been above .500 since they were 12-11 on May 2.
Seattle has won 14 of its past 17.
“Obviously we’re going really well right now,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “We all know how baseball goes. It’s up and it’s down and it’s all over the place. But you have to ride the streak and we’re in a good one right now.”
Romo threw just four pitches in his brief outing. The veteran was designated for assignment by Seattle late last month before signing with the Blue Jays.
Former Toronto reliever Ryan Borucki (1-0) picked up the win, pitching the 10th and 11th innings without allowing a run. Borucki got out of the 10th thanks to Matt Chapman lining into a double play. In the 11th, Chapman reached third with one out, but Borucki struck out Cavan Biggio and got a fly out from George Springer.
“I was just in a different world, I felt like it. And it was just good to really step up,” Borucki said. “I was telling guys I’ve never felt like this in my life, just the joy of just being able to do what I did today.”
Seattle tried to win it in the 10th on JP Crawford’s line drive single to left field. Third base coach Manny Acta made the aggressive decision to send Abraham Toro from second, but Lordes Gurriel Jr’s. throw was on target and Bull was easily tagged out.
Dylan Moore had an RBI double in the second inning, and Crawford added an RBI double in the third that scored Julio Rodriguez from first base. Rodriguez nearly homered to start the game, but his drive hit the top of the wall in center field and he was thrown out after stumbling and falling between second and third.
Toronto starter Ross Stripling allowed two runs and seven hits over five innings.
Gurriel had an RBI single in the second inning and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubled and scored on Teoscar Hernandez’s RBI single in the fifth.
“We got plenty of baseball left. I’m sure this lineup is going to get hot again and we’re going to score runs,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “But again, credit to our pitching that gave us a chance today.”
Seattle starter George Kirby lasted 4 1/3 innings and allowed 10 hits, but the Blue Jays could manage only two runs despite the constant traffic on the bases. Toronto left the bases loaded in fourth inning and left runners at second and third in the fifth.
Kirk, Guerrero Jr. off to LA
Toronto ended up with a pair of All-Star Game starters after Guerrero and catcher Alejandro Kirk won the final vote to be starters at their positions for the July 18 game in Los Angeles.
It will be the second All-Star Game appearance for Guerrero, but the first for Kirk, who entered Friday hitting .312 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs.
Guerrero beat out Seattle Ty France for the nod at first base.