Toronto pinch hitter Mark DeRosa, with a history of beating up Oliver Perez, embellished it in the eighth inning Monday night, hooking a two-run single into left field that lifted the Blue Jays to a 3-1 victory over the Mariners. It spoiled another effective outing by Hisashi Iwakuma. The loss, in front of 32,300 at Safeco Field, including thousands of boisterous Canadians, ended Seattle’s two-game winning streak.
After the Mariners finally reached knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in the seventh inning with Justin Smoak’s 11th home run, giving Seattle a 1-0 lead, the Blue Jays chased Iwakuma when Brett Lawrie tripled and Jose Reyes singled, tying the game at 1-1.
Yoervis Medina replaced Iwakuma, allowed a single, threw a wild pitch and walked Edwin Encarnacion, necessitating acting manager’s Robby Thompson’s switch to Perez. DeRosa, 5-for-10 with a home run lifetime against the left hander, greeted him with a single to left, plating the decisive runs.
Although the Mariners (52-60) won s series in Baltimore, they have lost seven of 10 and eight of 11 following their eight-game winning streak. After losing to Dickey, the former Mariner (2008), they had 51 of their 112 games decided by two runs or fewer.
Iwakuma pitched well enough to notch his 11th win, allowing two earned runs on four hits through 7.1 innings. He fell to 10-5 while reducing his ERA to 2.75. The loss was Iwakuma’s first since Texas beat him July 4.
Dickey, who won the 2012 National League Cy Young award with the Mets, struck out five and walked two.
Seattle scratched out eight hits. Kendrys Morales, on a recent tear, went 1-for-4 and is 16-for-30 (.533) in his last seven games. He’s hit safely in 12 of his last 15.
The Blue Jays nearly scored in the seventh when Encarnacion led off with a walk and advanced to third on a pair of ground balls, the first base runner to reach that far. But Iwakuma induced Maicer Izturis to ground out to second.
Smoak finally got to Dickey when Dickey left a high knuckle ball up in the zone and ripped a towering shot over the left-field wall. The home run extended Smoak’s hitting streak to six games.
One batter later, Humberto Quintero, who went 2-for-3, laced a single to right that went past right fielder Jose Bautista, allowing Quintero to take second with one out. Quintero moved to third when a Dickey knuckler skipped off the glove of Josh Thoe. Dickey walked Brad Miller. But Kyle Seager bounced into a double play.
The second game of three is 7:10 p.m. Tuesday. Felix Hernandez (11-4, 2.30) will contest RHP Josh Johnson (1-8, 6.60). The Mariners will take Thursday off before the Milwaukee Brewers show up Friday.
NOTES: Dustin Ackley started the game at his old position, second base, and played without incident. He went 1-for-4 . . . In the wake of Jesus Montero’s 50-game suspension, the Mariners released a statement that said the organization was “disappointed that Montero has violated the terms of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Our organization fully supports the Program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game.” GM Jack Zduriencik said Montero would be sent to the Rookie League to work out during his suspension. He won’t be allowed to dress during games or take part in most on-field activities. Zduriencik also ruled out the possibility of Montero returning for the final three games of the season once his suspension has been served . . . The Mariners’ radio contract with 710 ESPN Seattle has been extended through 2016, the club announced Monday. The team exercised a two-year option with Bonneville International on its current contract. The Mariners have been broadcasting on 710 ESPN Seattle since 2009 after coming to agreement following a six-year absence from what previously was KIRO-AM. KIRO was also the team’s flagship station from 1985-2002 . . . In the six games on the recent road trip, the Mariners batted .289, hit 10 home runs and averaged 5.33 runs per game . . . Felix Hernandez (11-4), Hisashi Iwakuma (10-5) and Joe Saunders (10-10) all have 10 wins this season. Seattle and Detroitis are the only two AL clubs with a trio of 10-game winners.