Blue Jays 6, Mariners 3
Towers won for just the second time in his last 12 starts, and Shea Hillenbrand hit a three-run homer as the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners with a 6-3 victory Thursday.
The Blue Jays bounced back after being swept in Texas and losing three of four at home to the major league-worst Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
“This is pretty big for me personally, and for us to get a sweep after catching a beat down against Tampa Bay is big,” Towers said.
Toronto swept a series for the first time since taking three straight from Boston almost two months ago.
Towers (7-8) allowed three runs and five hits while striking out one and walking none in seven-plus innings, improving to 2-7 in his last 12 starts.
“Honestly, I’m just stoked I was able to contribute,” Towers said.
The right-hander allowed 27 hits over his previous three starts, but gave up just one in the first six innings against Seattle.
“He was outstanding,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “He gets into his ruts where he struggles with his command and then he gets hit around a little bit, but when he’s on, he’s on.”
Seattle center fielder Jeremy Reed credited Towers for keeping the Mariners off-balance.
“It was nothing overpowering,” Reed said. “He just put his pitches where he wanted to. He got us to get ourselves out.”
Miguel Batista pitched 1 1-3 innings for his 17th save in 20 chances.
Seattle has lost five of seven to fall to an AL West-worst 41-53.
“It’s tough. Hopefully, we can turn this around,” Reed said.
Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-4, raising his career average against Toronto to .394 (71-for-180), the highest in the majors against Toronto among players with 150 or more plate appearances.
Johnson hit a solo shot off Joel Pineiro (3-6) in the second.
Toronto scored four runs in the third on Russ Adams’ RBI single and Hillenbrand’s 12th homer.
Pineiro allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings, the second straight start he’s allowed five earned runs.
“I made one mistake, really. It was to Hillenbrand,” Pineiro said. “I tried to get it up and in and it was just down and in.”
Pineiro said he felt as good as he did in 2003, when he went 16-11 with a 3.78 ERA. He went 6-11 with a 4.67 ERA last year.
“This is the best I’ve felt in a long time. I’m pretty happy about that,” Pineiro said.
Winn’s run-scoring double play cut Toronto’s lead to 6-3 in the eighth.
Toronto 2B Orlando Hudson missed the game with a tight hamstring. Manager John Gibbons said he wasn’t too concerned. … Mariners special consultant and former Blue Jays GM Pat Gillick attended the game. … Toronto swept Seattle for the first time since June 6-8, 2004.