SEATTLE -- If history is any indication, Marco Estrada wasn't the pitcher who was supposed to flirt with a no-hitter on Saturday night.Nonetheless, the righty took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in a duel against Mariners' lefty James Paxton -- who no-hit the Blue Jays in May --
SEATTLE -- If history is any indication, Marco Estrada wasn't the pitcher who was supposed to flirt with a no-hitter on Saturday night.
Nonetheless, the righty took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in a duel against Mariners' lefty James Paxton -- who no-hit the Blue Jays in May -- en route to a 5-1 victory over Seattle at Safeco Field.
The Mariners' only hit off of Estrada was a Mitch Haniger double with one out in the seventh. Estrada finished the inning, but was pulled after walking the first batter he faced in the eighth. He said he got goosebumps as he received a standing ovation from the multitude of Blue Jay fans in attendance as he walked off the field.
"The fans here just made it seem like a playoff game," Estrada said. "It gave me a lot of energy, a lot of excitement, a lot of adrenaline was going through [me], so everything just kind of clicked."
Manager John Gibbons said Estrada's last outing -- his first since a strained left glute injury landed him on the disabled list in mid-July -- resembled a rehab start, but Estrada got back to being "vintage Marco" in his second appearance off the DL on Saturday.
"He was painting the fastball; he threw some good curve balls," Gibbons said. "Not a lot of 'em but some really good ones that buckled some guys. And of course a good changeup."
Toronto's offense got to Paxton in the third inning, when Devon Travis sent a two-run single up the middle. Aledmys Diaz added another run with a solo shot in the fifth.
"I mean, [Paxton]'s really, really good," Travis said. "He's a guy that, if you're not aggressive and ready to go out of the gate, it's even harder. We knew the challenge that was up against us, and obviously everyone knows what he did to us last time. We just went out with a plan today that we were going to be aggressive."
The slumping Mariners got their only run of the game on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Chris Herrmann in the eighth inning.
"Estrada was really back and forth with his changeup and the high fastball, that's what he does," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "He's been around the league for a while. We just didn't make any adjustments with it and had a tough time. He had us off-balance all night and threw the ball pretty good. But it's been a struggle. We have to figure out a way to put more pressure on the other team. We haven't done a good job of it and obviously that's why we've lost the last five."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Although an RBI double from Brandon Drury in the ninth inning eliminated a save situation, manager John Gibbons still went with newly-acquired closer Ken Giles in the ninth. Giles allowed a pair of baserunners but induced a 5-6-3 double play to close out the victory.
HE SAID IT
"It's like a playoff atmosphere really, every single time we come here. I think when the schedule comes out every year the fans on the west coast of Canada check for this series, and I think that the players do as well. It's exciting here, man. To be able to play for a team and an entire country, where you can play literally on the complete opposite side of the country and still feel like you're playing at home, it's really special here. The fans do a great job and they definitely give us a little energy bump, there's no doubt about that," -- Travis, on the Blue Jay fans who come down to Seattle
Sam Gaviglio (2-4, 5.10 ERA) will make his first start against the Mariners since Seattle let the righty go off of waivers last September. He'll face Mike Leake (8-7, 4.16), who threw seven innings and allowed two runs to beat the Blue Jays back in May. First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. ET at Safeco Field.
David Gottlieb is a reporter for MLB.com.