SEATTLE -- The Toronto Blue Jays made an instant impact against Seattle starter Felix Hernandez on Tuesday, and they also made it an early night for the Mariners' usually reliable ace.
After Jose Reyes opened the game with a home run on Hernandez's first pitch, the Blue Jays breezed to a 7-2 win, handing Hernandez his first loss in 13 starts.
Hernandez (11-5) matched his shortest outing of the season with a five-inning performance that saw him give up nine hits, fall behind 6-0 and eventually suffer his first defeat since May 25.
"It was a struggle," Hernandez said. "A lot of it was I fell behind since the beginning. A leadoff homer; that was a tough game."
Blue Jays starter Josh Johnson (2-8) snapped a personal six-game losing streak while throwing five shutout innings of five-hit ball. Johnson struck out five and walked two while earning his first win since June 23.
"It's awesome," Johnson said of winning on a night when Hernandez was pitching. "You've got to be almost perfect with him out there."
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said he took Johnson out after just 86 pitches because he wanted to end the right-hander's night on a good note.
"He's been struggling his butt off," Gibbons said. "His confidence was rock-bottom. He's got to feel better after this one."
Said Johnson of not being able to go out for the sixth inning: "You always want to stay out there, but I'm not really in a position to argue with (Gibbons), so I'll take it."
Toronto piled up 11 hits, and Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio each had two RBIs for the Blue Jays (53-60). Center fielder Colby Rasmus had two hits off Hernandez, against whom he is 5-for-7 in his career, and Rasmus stole a home run from Seattle's Kendrys Morales with an over-the-wall catch in the sixth.
Afterward, Rasmus shrugged off his success against Hernandez, saying: "To me, he's just another pitcher. Ain't nothing special to me. Up here, all the pitchers are good."
Hernandez struggled from the outset, with Reyes taking him deep on what Rasmus called "the only four-seamer (Hernandez) threw all night."
Hernandez, who had allowed a total of two runs over his previous four starts, was replaced by Carter Capps to start the sixth. Hernandez ended up allowing six runs (three earned).
"I'm going to forget about this and get ready for the next one," he said.
The Mariners (52-61) have lost six of their past eight games. Four errors hurt Seattle on Tuesday, including two that were charged to third baseman Kyle Seager. The ugliest came when left fielder Raul Ibanez's relay throw in the seventh inning went into the turf a few feet away and rolled to center field, allowing a runner to score from first base as Toronto pulled out to a 7-0 lead.
Seattle didn't score until the bottom of the seventh, when rookie Brad Miller drove in two runs with a two-out triple off reliever Juan Perez.
In his first game facing Toronto since being released by the Blue Jays in June, Mariners catcher Henry Blanco went 0-for-3 while recording the final out of the game on a pop-up into foul territory.
Johnson, who came into the game riding a six-game losing streak, got the unlikely upper hand early in his battle with Hernandez.
Two Seattle errors, Bonifacio's double and Reyes' RBI single brought in three unearned runs in the fourth inning, during which the Blue Jays built a 4-0 lead. The struggles for Hernandez continued in the fifth, when three consecutive two-out singles gave Toronto two more runs.
NOTES: The Mariners optioned struggling closer Tom Wilhelmsen to Triple-A Tacoma, where he started Tuesday's game and allowed three runs in two innings. Wilhelmsen is being used as a starter in Tacoma so he can get multiple innings, but Mariners acting manager Robby Thompson said there is no plan to convert him to a full-time starter. ... Seattle released OF Jason Bay and recalled Capps from Tacoma. The 34-year-old Bay had been designated for assignment when the Mariners activated OF Michael Morse last week. Bay hit .204 in 68 games with the Mariners. ... Reyes led off a game with a home run for the 18th time in his career and the first time this season. It was also only the second time that Hernandez has allowed a home run to lead off a game, with the other one coming from the Texas Rangers' Ian Kinsler in July 2011.