Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Pillar hits winning homer in 9th, Jays beat Mariners 3-2

Pillar hits winning homer in 9th, Jays beat Mariners 3-2

Ryan Tepera (3-1) pitched 2 1/3 flawless innings for the win as the Blue Jays completed a four-game sweep.

Kevin Pillar was doing the sidestep and was about halfway to first base when he finally relinquished the grip on his bat after realizing neither he nor the Toronto Blue Jays would be needing it again on Sunday.

In the stands was Pillar's mom Wendy, dad Mike and wife Amanda and 42,030 ecstatic Jays supporters who nearly blew the lid off the stadium.

"I wanted to keep my jersey on because I told my mom we'd get a picture after the game". "I didn't want it to rip completely". "I've got to make a better pitch in that situation". Greinke (4-2) struck out 11 and walked one.

Pearce made a diving catch in left field to end the top of the third on Gamel's attempt for a hit with runners at second and third.

"He's a little more aggressive early in the count, and he's laying off that breaking ball", manager John Gibbons said.

"For me, I've got to live on the edge", Vincent said.

"I try to make sure my arm speed is up on that pitch", Biagini said.

Biagini (1-1) did not allow an earned run over four innings in his first start last weekend and was just as strong on this occasion. He didn't figure in the decision.

Justin Smoak would add to his already impressive evening when he launched his sixth homerun of the season to right-centre field, for a 7-2 Blue Jays lead.

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With two out in the fourth and the Jays ahead 1-0, Seattle starter Ryan Weber, making his season debut, had to leave the game with right shoulder tightness. Loup threw a wild pitch, moving Segura to third and Cruz to second, taking away the double play possibility. Bautista was given an error on the play. Smoak lined a bases-loaded single over the head of shortstop Segura, who had shifted out behind second base, and Pearce followed with his fourth home run.

A Gold Glove finalist and Fielding Bible Award victor for center-field, Pillar is one of the hottest hitters in baseball this season.

Jarrod Dyson tied the game 2-2 in the seventh with his first home run as a Mariner. The game appeared to be going in extra innings until Pillar's heroics in the ninth. "The heater is 94, I've never faced him, but it looks like it's hitting a bowling ball". "It's a feeling that you can't describe, it's just pure joy".

"He says: 'We started out 12-24, "' Gibbons said, leaning back in the leather chair of his office in the Jays clubhouse on Friday afternoon. "Maybe it was a hemorrhoid or something". Barney had hit.340 with a.809 OPS in 18 games as a starter, before Wednesday. His right middle finger resulted in two trips to the DL earler this season and a trip to a specialist in Kansas City.

"Two of those guys on the infield that we're missing (Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki) can really carry a team by themselves", Jays infielder Devon Travis said. "It's not an issue". A roster move will be necessary because Weber has been pitching all season at Triple-A Tacoma, where he is 2-0 with a 0.85 ERA in six games (five starts).

"It was good, nice to finally get back out there". "It's been a long time coming". "I probably should have kind of pitched around him".

"Even if they would have told me: "Hey, what you're doing isn't going to work at the major leagues" I would have laughed at them and told them they were insane".

Indians pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall almost got something going in the eighth but Pearce made a nice running catch on the warning track.

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.

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