MLB Predictions: Over to cash again in Mariners vs. Blue Jays? 5/12/17

Salazar and Francisco Liriano did not stick around long.

Smoak homered and drove in four runs to power the Blue Jays to a 7-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night at Rogers Centre.

The fact that they've begun the climb back before those regulars return only adds to the encouragement, not to mention the confidence of players such as Ryan Goins and Ezequiel Carrera, who are getting added playing time.

The rare dose of good news didn't stop there for Toronto.

Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar gve up five runs, five hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings.

"It would have been easy to fold. Our guys - tip my hat to them - they have not gotten down even with the early struggles". "We're starting to win some of those games that we couldn't win earlier in the season". That's the kind of thing I've been doing well in Triple A - not walking people. Darwin Barney moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt and a slow grounder from Travis brought Pearce home. Smoak has six homers, which matches Kendrys Morales for the Blue Jays' club lead.

With an ERA now surpassing the 6.00 mark for 2017 (6.35), Liriano's latest outing looked like nothing more than a poor performance to the plain eye.

The leaders of the AL East may be much further gone now than they were when Cito Gaston took over from Williams in '89 (the Jays are eight games behind the Orioles), but that era didn't include wild-card routing to the post-season, either.

Dominic Leone came on with the bases loaded and nobody out and gave up a bases-clearing double to Brandon Guyer, who was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.

Walker was tossed after one of those "borderline calls" didn't go Toronto's way and it seemed to spark the offence.

The manager can hardly be blamed for the team's tepid start with a roster chock-full of Triple-A wannabes thanks to a horrific array of injuries to key regulars, including Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki.

"We might have to extend (Tulowitzki's) rehab", cracked Gibbons.

With Morales out of the lineup due to his hamstring issue, the team had more than 45% of its payroll out injured (or about $82 million).

"Everybody goes through it, some more than others".

Right before the first pitch of the game, a leather-lunged fan could be heard bellowing: "Cleveland sucks".

The 33-year-old slugger leads the Blue Jays with six home runs and 20 RBIs this season. That's not how it works. But they'd be better if they could figure out how to push a few more across on the road.

STAT PACK: Segura has a 10-game hitting streak and is batting.447 (21-for-47) in that span. Gibbons afterward on Barney: "He's having a heck of a month of May" ... Cruz had a double in addition to his homer in four at-bats.

"I thought Carrasco was tremendous", Indians manager Terry Francona said. His first year with Pittsburgh, 2013, was also a strong season for the lefty, as he ended 16-8 and finished ninth in Cy Young balloting.

Perhaps the biggest roadblock to get back to.500 and beyond is the injury-ravaged lineup Gibbons has been dealing with.

"He caught our attention. Being realistic with what our expectations are and how deep he can get, we just want him to keep us in the ballgame and give us a chance because our offense is clicking pretty well right now".

  • Angelo Rivera