Varsho, Gausman lead Blue Jays over Mariners
TORONTO – Daulton Varsho delivered a walk-off single to give the Blue Jays their sixth straight win, a 1-0 decision against the Seattle Mariners in 10 innings on Saturday.
The Blue Jays (18-9) survived a no-hit bid from Seattle’s Easton McGee and received an outstanding career-high 13 strikeouts from Kevin Gausman to hand the Mariners (11-16) their third loss in a row.
Varsho crushed a pitch from Trevor Gott (0-2) to right centre field to score designated runner Bo Bichette. The Blue Jays loaded the bases with Vladimir Guerrero’s single to centre and an intentional walk to Matt Chapman before a sellout crowd of 41,475.
McGee made his first career start, arriving at Rogers Centre with only three innings of MLB experience from a relief appearance for the Mariners late last season.
The 25-year-old McGee set down the first 12 Blue Jays he faced before walking Chapman to lead off the fifth inning.
Chapman broke up McGee’s no-hit bid with a two-out double off the top of the centre-field wall in the seventh inning.
Seattle manager Scott Servais replaced his rookie pitcher with reliever Matt Brash. McGee struck out a pair in his 64-pitch, 6.2 innings.
The Mariners got to Gausman for four early hits and a walk. But after yielding a leadoff single to Julio Rodriguez in the third inning, Gausman settled down to retire 14 in a row.
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He escaped injury in the sixth inning when Jarred Kelenic’s comebacker hit the Toronto starter high on the back of his left leg.
Gausman recovered to toss out Kelenic and retired the next two Mariners to end the inning. He survived the seventh to extend his shutout streak to 14 innings.
After surrendering back-to-back singles with two out in the seventh inning, Gausman struck out his final batter, Sam Haggerty, for his MLB-leading 54th strikeout.
In his 108-pitch shutout performance, Gausman allowed six hits and issued only one walk. He struck out former Blue Jay Teoscar Hernandez three times.
Toronto closer Jordan Romano also fanned Hernandez in the ninth. Erik Swanson (1-0) struck out three and walked one in the 10th inning.
Toronto’s Whit Merrifield did not play on Saturday. But through his first 20 appearances in 2023, the infielder/outfielder has reached base safely in each game, batting .324 with seven doubles, 10 RBI and 10 walks.
Blue Jays RHP Chris Bassitt (3-2) will start in the finale of the three-game set against Seattle. He will face LHP Marco Gonzales (2-0).
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2023.
&© 2023 The Canadian Press
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